Sayles Force—Long-admired indie filmmaker John Sayles (Matewan, Eight Men Out, The Secret of Roan Inish, Lone Star) recently turned his attentions to America's contentious political climate, whipping out the political thriller Silver City with the eager help of an all-star cast (including Kris Kristofferson, Chris Cooper, Daryl Hannah, Richard Dreyfuss, Miguel Ferrar, Billy Zane, Tim Roth and more). The film lies somewhere between the dense conspiratorial murder mystery of Chinatown and the pointed political humor of an Al Franken routine.
Standin' Around with Suspect Zero
The glitz and glamor of background extra work
Suspect Zero, the serial killer thriller shot in Albuquerque and the surrounding area two summers ago, finally made its way onto movie screens last weekend. The film struggled into 10th place at the box office, clearing a meager $3.4 million. Although the film didn't exactly cover its small $27 million budget ($7.5 of which was provided as an interest-free loan by the state of New Mexico), it did scrape together a few thousand more dollars than Baby Geniuses 2. At this point, it's clear that New Mexico will see none of the promised 2.5 percent of the film's profits, but at least the production employed a handful of New Mexicans for a few weeks. The following is a brief diary excerpt from two New Mexicans who worked as extras during the film's shoot.
Pomp and circumstance drives Brit-lit romance
I must confess that I'm not the most avid fan of Brit-lit romance. I really couldn't give a toss if poor Ms. So-and-so finally climbs up that snobby social ladder and marries Lord What's-his-name. But Hollywood sure is a big fan of beautiful costumes, weepy romance and people speaking in British accents. Conventional wisdom does say that if you throw some Jane Austen or some Charlotte Bronte or some Charles Dickens up on screen, you're guaranteed to generate at least a little Oscar buzz—which is probably what the makers behind the new adaptation of William Makepeace Thackeray's classic novel had in mind.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Fall season around the Dial
The Olympics are over, summer is dying, and that means that the fall TV season is upon us. Premieres roll out all this month. So what does the new fall schedule hold in store for us?
The Week in Sloth
“Fabulous Life of ...” (VH1 9 p.m.) VH1's celebrity show-and-tell usually focuses on movie stars or rap moguls, but tonight the material possession-obsessed series goes all political, giving us “The Bush vs. Kerry Bling Off.” Which of the presidential candidates has more cash, cars, clothes and casas? Let's go to the tape!
The Magnificent Seven (TCM 6 p.m.) Akira Kurosawa's original, The Seven Samurai, is probably still a better piece of cinema, but how can you argue with one of the best tough guy casts ever assembled (Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn) and that kick-ass theme song?