Latest Tweets!
Box Office

Entries in biopic (2)


'J. Edgar' review - A biopic with very little to say

J. Edgar Hoover is somewhat enigmatic within the grand narrative of modern American history. His name, though well known, doesn’t much carry a face, and an accurate understanding of his accomplishments and personal life is still, even today, elusive. He’s shown up in popular culture from time to time—I’m thinking mainly of references from the likes of Seinfeld or The Simpsons—but only as a name, very rarely as a man. I suspect that to many born after his death in 1972, his identity is considerably murkier than those of the many presidents he served under, or the movie stars and activist leaders he so relentlessly targeted. History has never quite understood how he should be remembered. It’s tempting to call him an evil man, but if he were so, what then should be said about the citizenry that allowed him so much power and influence for so many decades? Pondering his legacy now, I think it’s downright remarkable that an historical figure like Hoover has remained a specter for so long. I smile at the irony, too—surely a man as obsessed with shadows and secrets wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Perhaps the ambivalence surrounding Hoover’s identity was the reason I viewed director Clint Eastwood’s latest bit of Oscar-bait with such regrettable enthusiasm. I must have hoped, on some level, that J. Edgar would provide a definitive account of the man’s life; that Eastwood—himself a noted conservative—would arrange for me the facts of J. Edgar Hoover’s existence into some sort of salient coherence. This did not happen. Rather, Eastwood has crafted a film that takes far too much pleasure in the mystique of its central character, barely attempting (if at all) to illustrate how the cogs in his head turned over the course of a very long and illustrious career.

Click to read more ...


'Kick-Ass' star Aaron Johnson looks promising as young John Lennon in 'Nowhere Boy'

I would describe myself as a Beatles fanatic.  I'm familiar with pretty much all of their music, from their Hamburg days to Sgt. Pepper and beyond; I've read biographies; I've watched the entire Anthology more than once.  That said, Beatles films rarely impress me.  Its just so difficult for a filmmaker to capture whatever magic element The Beatles had, and make it work as a movie.  

So when I read, some time ago, that a new biopic was in the works about the early life of the most controversial member of the Fab Four - John Lennon - I was excited, but cautious.  I was reasonably impressed by Aaron Johnson in Kick-Ass, but I knew little about him aside from that, and my confidence in his ability to pull off a personality as complex as Lennon was thin.

However, after viewing the trailer, I think I may have underestimated Johnson.  Alive with youth, cheeky, and ambitious, he conducts himself with the same easy arrogance that young Lennon must have possessed, all while exuding a boyish sort of charm that attempts to gloss over teenage insecurity.  Johnson may not be a dead ringer for John Lennon, but who says he has to be?  Looks only get you so far, and I think he actually has the chops to pull this off! 

Judge for yourself by viewing the Nowhere Boy trailer, and a second clip, after the jump.  

Click to read more ...