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Wild Card Review


Weak

Jason Statham may be playing essentially the same character he always plays, but this noir-style thriller has a somewhat groovier tone thanks to the Las Vegas setting and a scruffy William Goldman script. It's also directed with wit and energy by Simon West, who keeps everything moving very briskly. Although not fast enough for us to miss the fact that it's all rather thin and pointless.

As always, Statham is a former black-ops agent whose jaded, frazzled exterior obscures his fighting-fit action moves. His name this time is Nick Wild, and he works as a bodyguard for wealthy clients like Cyrus (Michael Angarano), who needs protection as he visits Vegas casinos with vast sums of money. He also has a lot to learn from Nick about gambling and wants to learn some of those action moves too. Meanwhile, Nick's ex-girlfriend Holly (Dominik Garcia-Lorido) asks him to help her get revenge against the swaggering gangster Donny (Milo Vengimiglia), who kidnapped and viciously terrorised her. Nick knows that getting even with Donny will put him on a collision course with mob kingpin Baby (Stanley Tucci), but he can't resist a challenge.

Nick is one of those characters who can't resist much. He's addicted to high-stakes blackjack, life-threatening confrontations and his own seedy poverty. So clearly the goal of the screenplay is to find some sort of uneasy redemption. Statham has played this role before in his sleep, so he looks almost bored here, which makes him vaguely intriguing. His gimmick this time is an ability to turn everyday objects into lethal weapons, including a seriously nasty moment with a pair of hedge clippers. It also helps that the film is packed with colourful scene-stealers who add plenty of badly needed spark, including a ripped Ventimiglia and the reliably wonderful Tucci, plus lively cameos from the likes of Sofia Vergara and Anne Heche.

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The Princess Bride Quotes Remembered (Pictures)


Robin Wright Chris Sarandon Mandy Patinkin Wallace Shawn Cary Elwes Rob Reiner William Goldman

The Princess Bride 25th anniversary has arrived and with it, a Blu-ray special edition featuring loads of brand new extras including interviews, behind the scenes action and much more.

This cult classic fairytale movie arrived on our screens in 1988 featuring a hilarious ensemble cast that has kept us gripped for a quarter of a century of watching. It is the story of how a beautiful young woman named Buttercup (Robin Wright) is forced into almost marrying the deceitful Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), before being captured by a group of not so bright but not so evil crooks; a Spanish fencer named Inigo (Mandy Patinkin), a Turkish giant named Fezzik (André the Giant) and their Sicilian boos Vizzini (Wallace Shawn). However, along the way she is reunited with her former love Westley (Cary Elwes) who she believed to be dead until then, and they all go about attempting to bring down Buttercup's fiancé, the future King of Florin.

Although it was never a major success at the box office, this classic Oscar nominated film was well-received by critics on its release and it has remained a family favourite ever since, being especially regarded as one of the most quotable films of all time. Some of the best The Princess Bride quotes are worth bringing up again: 

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Is A 'Princess Bride' Sequel On The Cards?


Rob Reiner William Goldman Robin Wright Billy Crystal

Twenty five years later, the cast and crew of 'The Princess Bride' reunited at the New York Film Festival this week to promote the Blu-ray release of the classic romantic-comedy. They were all there - Billy Crystal, Robin Wright, Rob Reiner, William Goldman, Mandy Patinkin, Cary Elwes - but the gathered press pack were only concerned with one thing: would there be a sequel?

Goldman, 81, who wrote the 1973 novel and the screenplay for the movie confessed that developing a sequel had been on his mind for years, telling the Los Angeles Times, "I'm desperate to make it and write it and I don't know how.I would love to make it, more than anything else I've not written." In a humorous Q&A session at the Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, the cast and crew quoted key scenes from the movie, and director Reiner spoke of how he got involved in the project in the first place, revealing that Goldman had approached him after Robert Redford, Francois Truffaut and Norman Jewison had tried and failed to make the movie. "He looked at me with the eyes of, 'What are you gonna do to it?" said the filmmaker, revealing that it was his knack for comedy (This Is Spinal Tap) that helped win over Goldman. A classic fairy tale, 'The Princess Bride' has everything, swordplay, an evil prince, giants, and of course a beautiful princess. So would a sequel be realistic?

Reiner has been relatively active as a filmmaker in recent years, though Goldman hasn't written anything of note since 2003's 'Dreamcatcher,' starring Morgan Freeman. We're sure Crystal, Wright and the gang would be up for another movie, so watch this space!


Chaplin Review


Good
Movies about movie stars are always a dodgy affair. They reek of in-jokes, chumminess, and a glossy version of Hollywood that has never really existed.

As actors go, Charlie Chaplin is at least a worthy candidate for a biopic. His impact on the acting profession and especially physical comedy is hard to overstate, and the man remains an icon whose face (or silhouette) embodies cinema. In the hands of Richard Attenborough, Chaplin's life is digested into the highlights -- from vaudevillian youth to his arrival in Hollywood to his amazingly fast rise to fame. Attenborough even dabbles in Chaplin's investigation by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. Naturally, the running series of Chaplin's famous romantic entanglements are carefully tallied, the actresses playing the various Mrs. Chaplins (and near misses) making up a who's who of early-'90s starlets.

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The Princess Bride Review


Extraordinary
Who among us has never uttered the line, "My name is Inigo Montoya..."? Standing as one of the most eminently quotable films ever made -- this side of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, anyway.

Ostensibly a children's fairy tale about a farmer's daughter (Robin Wright), her poor lover Westley (Cary Elwes), the prince (Chris Sarandon) who catches her eye, and the battle that develops among them all. Filled with memorable supporting characters -- Wallace Shawn's Vizzini ("Inconceivable!!!"), Mandy Patinkin's Inigo, Andre the Giant's Fezzik, and Christopher Guest's six-fingered man, The Princess Bride is as much fun as you can have in a film. Even the fringe characters (Peter Cook's priest, Carol Kane's nagging wife, Mel Smith's albino torturer) are hilarious and unforgettable. And director Rob Reiner has imbued this film with so much pure joy that you can't help but want to watch it over and over.

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Marathon Man Review


Extraordinary
"Is it safe?"

Brrrr... those words still chill me.

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Magic Review


Good
The work of early Anthony Hopkins is always worth a gamble, and Magic is easily one of his quirkiest films. Hopkins plays a magician/puppeteer, and any time a ventriloquist's dummy makes it into a picture, trouble can't be far behind. The trouble here begins when, inexplicably, Corky (Hopkins) is about to hit the big time, but flees town when he's told he has to take a physical exam. He ends up shacking up with old girlfriend Peggy Ann (Ann-Margret), and then the body count starts rising as dummy "Fats" gets jealous. Script by William Goldman, direction by Richard Attenborough. Odd combo, but it's creepy and generally works. And to think, Attendborough's next film would be Gandhi.

Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid Review


Essential
Calling Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid a great Western is like calling Dom Perignon a really great bottle of grape juice. Yeah, that's correct, but you're missing the point entirely.

Butch and Sundance is more than a Western: It's an iconic, American experience, a classic adventure tale, and a singular slice of late-'60s moviemaking that has never really been repeated. The story is a surprisingly, "mostly" accurate tale of two of history's best-known outlaws. The film comprises two major sequences: First, the duo robs a series of trains on the frontier, then spends a lengthy amount of time on the run from the hired guns the railroad is paying to hunt them down. The heat gets so severe that it leads them to the second sequence: Self-imposed exile to dingy Bolivia, where they rob banks instead, only to have the federales try to hunt them down. The final moments of the film are unforgettable.

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A Bridge Too Far Review


OK
There are star-studded projects, and then there's A Bridge Too Far, a World War II movie the likes of which would cost upwards of $300 million to make today. There are lots of bridges in the film, actually: The Allies aim to capture a series of them in German-occupied Holland as part of Operation Market-Garden, a byzantine plot that would theoretically cripple the German war machine in western Europe, where Germany is already on the run. However, Allied mistakes and an unexpected amount of German firepower nip the plan in the bud. The film is more a showcase for some searing acting -- and at three hours long, there's plenty of it -- than it is a classic war film. The battle scenes just don't come across as impressively as in other films of the era -- the fact that VW Beetles with plastic tank shells on them were used in lieu of some of the Panzers is just one sign that all the budget went to that exhaustive cast list.

Hearts in Atlantis Review


Weak
The entire time I spent watching the latest Stephen King big-screen adaptation Hearts in Atlantis, I had this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that something was missing. All the key elements of a potentially great film were present -- authentic-looking 1960s Americana scenery, great acting by Anthony Hopkins and newcomer Anton Yelchin (Delivering Milo), an intriguing story line, and strong directing by Scott Hicks. And then, at the end of the film, it just hit me like a sap across the back of the neck.

One common recurring narrative in many of King's better-known novel-to-screen adaptations -- such as Stand by Me, The Green Mile, and The Shawshank Redemption -- incorporates an older gentleman recalling his youth or a life-changing incident of his life. Hearts in Atlantis follows this to a tee. After learning of a childhood friend's death, a middle-aged photographer Robert Garfield (David Morse) ventures back to his hometown for the funeral. Upon arrival, Robert recalls memories of youth and of one innocent, fateful summer when a mysterious man named Ted Brautigan (Hopkins) entered his life and changed it forever.

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Absolute Power Review


Terrible
Really lame thriller about the president and the cover-up that ensues when he murders some hot chick. Can't believe William Goldman wrote this crap, or that Eastwood, Hackman, Harris, and Davis bothered to get involved with it either.

The Chamber Review


Terrible
Goody goody Chris O'Donnell heads down to Mississippi to defend his long lost grandpa, who's about to be executed for a racist hate crime decades earlier. Is it possible to care about this story? Faye Dunaway's puppy dog performance sure doesn't help matters.

The Ghost And the Darkness Review


Weak
Or, as Meryl Streep might say, "I had a bridge in Africa..." Only a couple of wicked lions ate half my workers and the rest ran away.

That's The Ghost And the Darkness in a nutshell. And while it may be, as the press materials say, "one of the most thrilling true stories ever told," it has somehow turned into one of the most boring movies of the year, owing to a downright dull directorial job by Stephen Hopkins and a surprisingly flat script by double Oscar-winner William Goldman.

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All The President's Men Review


Extraordinary
Classic collaboration of Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, and Richard Nixon, in the most scandalous political tale of our time -- Nixon's destruction after Watergate. (Sorry, Michael Moore!) The leads put human faces on the cold visages of Woodward and Bernstein, and more than any other movie about journalism, All the President's Men tells it like it is. (Well, was anyway -- check out Shattered Glass for a more up-to-date scenario.)

The Stepford Wives (1975) Review


Weak
This oft-referenced tale of suburban wives who suddenly lose their vibrant individualism and become "perfect housewives" may earn points for becoming a piece of Americana, but it's hardly excellent filmmaking. Little more than a knockoff of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Stepford Wives makes one tragic mistake: The women in town actually seem more interesting after their transformation than before it, when they come across as whiny and petulant, and little else.
William Goldman

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