Paul Schrader

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Dog Eat Dog Review


Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul Schrader, who wrote classics like Taxi Driver before turning director with American Gigolo. This movie has a kitsch tone as it spirals through a violently absurd story with a bunch of idiots who shoot first and then realise they can't ask any questions now. There are some intriguing issues gurgling under the surface, although they're kind of swamped by the mayhem.

It's set in Cleveland, where Troy (Cage) has just been released from prison and rejoins his buddies Mad Dog and Diesel (Willem Dafoe and Christopher Matthew Cook). Unable to get real jobs because they're ex-cons, they have no choice but to turn back to crime to make a living. So they contact mob boss El Greco (Schrader himself) for some freelance work. Their first job is ruthlessly convincing a gangsta-rapper (Omar J. Dorsey) to give them his drugs and cash. And then they move on to an even bigger target, the Latino kingpin Chepe (Reynaldo Gallegos). To get to him, they decide to kidnap the infant child of Brennan (Louis Perez), who is heavily in Chepe's debt. The problem is that Troy, Mad Dog and Diesel have no clue what they're doing, so the plan spirals out of control immediately.

The film looks almost swampy with its deep shadows and lurid colours, complete with visual flourishes that include wacky visual effects and clips shot in murky black and white. In other words, it's all very cool and nasty, with violence that's both unexpected and very grisly. People die horribly in almost every scene, but this seems to be rather run-of-the-mill for both the cops and criminals in this strata of society. No one has even a hint of a moral compass here; their goal is just to grab whatever they can. Cage gives another of his enjoyably deranged performances as Troy, bouncing hilariously off of Dafoe and Cook's carelessly murderous goons.

Continue reading: Dog Eat Dog Review

Dying Of The Light - Trailer

Trapped in a terrorist prison and tortured, Evan Lake (Nicholas Cage) is eventually free and makes his way back to the United States and the CIA where he works. Becoming a hero for surviving and not revealing any secrets throughout his imprisonment, Lake's protégé, Milton Schultz, (Anton Yelchin) discovers that the man who held him hostage - the villainous terrorist Banir (Alexander Karim) - is alive and still active. After announcing to his supervisors the revelation, it is discovered that Lake is beginning to suffer from dementia and is faced with early retirement. But unable to leave a job undone, Lake and Schultz take it upon themselves to bring Banir to justice; fuelled by both the intent for justice and revenge.

Continue: Dying Of The Light - Trailer

Paul Shrader Gives Lindsay Lohan A Slap On The Wrist For Her Absense From 'The Canyons' Promotion

Lindsay Lohan Paul Schrader

It seems that Lindsay Lohan is continuing her erratic behavior, to the point where she has now peeved off even her previously sympathetic Canyons director Paul Shrader. The director, who previously excused Lohan’s absence from the Venice Film Festival, calling her a “talented, but unpredictable star,” has now spoken out against her for not taking part in the film’s promotion as well.

Lindsay Lohan, Manhattan
Lindsay's unpredictable behavior could affect The Canyons'  press image.

Yesterday (September 25th) the director took to to official Canyons Facebook page, to post the following criticism: “I am mystified and disappointed by LL's refusal to support The Canyons. She is a producer of the film, a 25% owner. She has received wonderful reviews (among the negative) for her performance. I hired her when no one else would. She fought to keep the role when I wanted to fire her for unreliability. She has no other films in the can…”

Continue reading: Paul Shrader Gives Lindsay Lohan A Slap On The Wrist For Her Absense From 'The Canyons' Promotion

Lindsay Lohan Claims Her Venice Film Festival Absence Was Essential For Her Health

Lindsay Lohan Paul Schrader

Lindsay Lohan claims her absence from the Venice Film Festival had nothing to do with being a diva or just being a general pest towards her co-workers, but actually was because of concerns over her health.

Lindsay Lohan James Deen The Canyons
Lindsay with co-star James Deen in The Canyons

The actress admitted in a statement posted to her official website that her "focus is on [her] health and well-being" only at the moment, and she decided to hold on to a promise she made to TV guru Oprah Winfrey not to leave the USA whilst she recovers from her wild past, which included missing out on the Venice Film Festival to promote her new film, The Canyons.

Continue reading: Lindsay Lohan Claims Her Venice Film Festival Absence Was Essential For Her Health

Does 'The Canyons' Live Up To Its Trailer's Glamour & Hype? A Reviews Summary [Trailer]

Lindsay Lohan Bret Easton Ellis Paul Schrader

The trailer for The Canyons was released at least eight months before the movie release, giving us a tantalising glimpse of the swirling cinematography, melancholic Hollywood glamour and synthy Drive-esque soundtrack of the erotic thriller. Plus, it looked like a solid return to filmmaking for Lindsay Lohan whose public battle to stay sober has consumed the press surrounding her lately.

Lindsay Lohan
Have Lindsay Lohan's Personal Struggles Affected Her Ability To Act?

Lohan plays Tara, an actress trying to keep her affair with an actor from her past quiet whilst her privileged and scheming boyfriend Christian (James Deen) makes films to keep his trust fund intact. The plot goes awry when Christian finds out about Tara's affair and the narrative takes a darker turn, descending into bloody violence and cruel sexual mind games.

Continue reading: Does 'The Canyons' Live Up To Its Trailer's Glamour & Hype? A Reviews Summary [Trailer]

Why Lindsay Lohan's 'The Canyons' Is A Complete Success

Lindsay Lohan Paul Schrader Bret Easton Ellis

No, it's not the fact that The Canyons received one good review this week.

We felt good that Lindsay Lohan got some props from Variety, though Paul Schrader's movie can be dubbed a complete success for other, less exciting reasons.

In January, the New York Magazine's Stephen Rodrick wrote a long, detailed article on The Canyons with a hugely cynical tone.

Continue reading: Why Lindsay Lohan's 'The Canyons' Is A Complete Success

The Canyons Screenwriter Reveals Lindsay Lohan's Drunken Antics

Lindsay Lohan Paul Schrader Bret Easton Ellis

We never thought The Canyons shoot was going to be an easy ride for anyone, and as it turns out, it wasn't. It really wasn't. Bringing together controversial novelist Bret Easton Ellis, porn star James Deen and the troubled Hollywood actress Lindsay Lohan was always going to be risky and according to screenwriter Stephen Rodrick, all hell broke loose on set.

The scribe spoke to about the whole darn thing, claiming Lohan was initially fired after failing to show-up for a read-through before showing up at director Paul Schrader's hotel room, pounding on his door while hysterically crying and begging for her job back.  The actress stayed in the hallway for around 90 minutes before leaving after securing a second chance. 

Perhaps the most concerning part of Rodrick's story is the 4-way 14 minute sex scene shot with real-life porn actors. Lohan wasn't happy about the scene and had been drinking beforehand, locking herself in a closet and refusing to come out. Director Schrader had to beg her to do the scene, eventually stripping naked his self in order to show her it was no big deal. After finally completing the take, Lindsay drove off in her Porsche with Rodrick saying the producers "all hoped they would still have a lead actress in the morning." 

Continue reading: The Canyons Screenwriter Reveals Lindsay Lohan's Drunken Antics

The Yakuza Review

In 1974, the advertisements for Sidney Pollack's Americanized Japanese gangster movie The Yakuza stated, "A man doesn't forget. A man pays his debts." Well, not in today's economy. But in 1974 paying debts meant something else. It meant honor and obligation and a code of duty among hired killers and thugs. The Japanese yakuza action movie was a staple of Japanese cinema in the 1970s, the films packed with high energy, low budgets, and gratuitous violence. Pollack's westernized version of the genre tamps down the action and examines the yakuza film like an English literature grad student, looking for subtext as characters engage in slow and ponderous dialogues about honor and duty before they erupt and pull out swords and shotguns and turn rooms into abattoirs. Neither a Japanese nor an American action film nor really a philosophical discourse over tea and sushi, The Yakuza doesn't know what it wants to be.

Robert Mitchum plays Harry Kilmer, a retired detective, called back into service by old World War II army pal George Tanner (Brian Keith), who asks for his help in rescuing his daughter, who is being held in Japan by the yakuza. Tanner knows Kilmer is owed a debt of honor by ex-yakuza member Tanaka Ken (Ken Takakura, the big Japanese star of all those '70s yakuza films) and convinces him to travel back to Japan to see if Ken will honor his obligation to Kilmer by infiltrating the yakuza gang holding his daughter and bringing her back home (significantly, the daughter is no more than a unconscious blip on the radar in The Yakuza). Once there, events spin out of control, and Kilmer and Ken become embroiled in ritual obligations and mayhem.

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Forever Mine Review

One macabre "love story." In Forever Mine, a darling Gretchen Mol meets cabana boy Joseph Fiennes while on holiday with her NYC politico husband Ray Liotta. Naturally she falls for the lad, and as we know how jealous Ray can get, he has the guy killed. Or so he thinks... 14 years later, Fiennes returns, reinventing himself as some kind of lawyer/drug lord, to exact his revenge.

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Raging Bull Review

Twenty-five years since its release, Martin Scorsese's masterpiece Raging Bull has been crowned with so many critical laurels that another word in praise of it might seem hopelessly redundant. To claim that it puts to shame virtually any American film made since sounds about right, but it might be more worthwhile to note how the film showcases Scorsese's artistic genius in its purest form -- unsullied by ego, commercial pressures, or the self-doubt that can cloud a more jaded artist's vision. Raging Bull is a work of religious devotion by a filmmaker to his craft and an apotheosis of Scorsese's promise.

The film charts the life and career of boxer Jake LaMotta (Robert De Niro) from his rise to glory in the 1940s to his fall into washed-up grotesquery in the '50s, a lounge lizard parody of his former self. That LaMotta turns into the very sort of schmuck, fat-bellied and dissipated, that he would've abhorred in his youth marks one of Scorsese's most poignant treatments of his trademark theme of the individual struggling to transcend his worst instincts to achieve greatness and grace. Anger and bitterness are ever-present here, either churning at the film's surface or roiling just below in slow burn. LaMotta, the insecure hothead who chafes at the underworld hoods who've ensnared him, directs his rage outward in the form of sexual jealousy at his wife, Vickie (Cathy Moriarty), and through his tornado-like fury in the ring. The boxer's battle for self-acceptance even threatens the most meaningful and enduring relationship he's got, the one with his brother and manager, Joey (Joe Pesci); indeed, Raging Bull is, to a large extent, about the effect of blind ambition on our most meaningful, enduring relationships.

Continue reading: Raging Bull Review

Paul Schrader

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Paul Schrader Movies

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Dying Of The Light Trailer

Dying Of The Light Trailer

Trapped in a terrorist prison and tortured, Evan Lake (Nicholas Cage) is eventually free and...