Nov. 18, 2008, 1:58 a.m. CST
you killed my brudda. You doity rat hmmmmmmhmhmhm.....oops sorry, wrong talkback
Nov. 18, 2008, 2 a.m. CST
still my favorite Stone film is.......DANANANAAAAAAAA THE HAND!!!!!
Nov. 18, 2008, 2:43 a.m. CST
along with Libeled Lady. And I've seen most of them- apart from about two thirds of the horrors (even I have a breaking point when it comes to how many b-movies I can stand).
Nov. 18, 2008, 3:01 a.m. CST
I got nothing to say about this film or any of the upcoming ones, but I just wanted to say, as someone who comes to the site every day (and has for almost 9 years), I LOVE what you're doing here. <p> it's a testament to the love that you, and by extension this site, have for movies in a really pure sense. they might be good or bad, they might be big or small, but you're gonna watch them no matter what. someone spent the time and money to make a movie, and no matter how ridiculous it might have the potential to be (which can also lead to greatness) just the mere act of making it is deserving of enough respect that we watch it and think about it.<p> to say, "hey, there are a lot of movies I've never seen, and I'm going to watch one of them a day...(well...until I croak?)" is a testament to a deep and undying love of movies. <p>I love movies, and you love movies, that's why we're here. that's why this site exists. as long as that's still the gold standard for this site, I'll be here every day. thank you Quint, and thank you Harry and Mori and everyone for making my day, every fucking day for almost a decade.
Nov. 18, 2008, 3:09 a.m. CST
After this, it seems Stone and Spike Lee joined a pact akin to the infamous Lucas, Milius and Spielberg deal of the late '70s, whereby they both agreed to make movies crammed with distracting "Filmmaking with a Hammer" scenes which sacrificed the believablity of the story in order to ram home the director's rhetoric. Take Platoon, for example, which had Charlie Sheen ranting about the atrocities of war in his letters home to grandma...Mmmmmmkay. Salvador was Stone's high-water mark!
Nov. 18, 2008, 3:30 a.m. CST
don't get off your James Woods jag without checking out The Onion Field.
Nov. 18, 2008, 3:40 a.m. CST
I enjoyed the hell out of that. Great chemistry between Woods and Dennehy, and a cool script by Larry Cohen. ..And I agree with seppukudkurosawa, SALVADOR was Stone's high-water mark, not to mention Jim Belushi's best work next to RED HEAT with Arnie.
Nov. 18, 2008, 3:46 a.m. CST
Easily Stone's best, and I say that as a fan of some of his other work (you can hate JFK for the conspiracy theories, but the editing in the final summing up is some of the best I've ever seen). It's been a long time since I first saw it, and I've given Woods a break on all of his subsequent weirdnesses ever since. That was one of the great screen performances.<p> Quint, when you see Best Seller you will be one up on Vern, I think. When he wrote that (excellent) obit for John Flynn, didn't he say he hadn't seen Best Seller? For shame! It's the nuts.
Nov. 18, 2008, 4:49 a.m. CST
And Dennehy's! Oh and Wood's other finest piece of work is in Simpsons as the QuickyMart shop keeper! Seriously though, his turn in The Hard Way shouldnt be overlooked either.
Nov. 18, 2008, 5:24 a.m. CST
A great little thriller... And if you're still jonesing for Dennehy and Woods after it, check out SPLIT IMAGE.
Nov. 18, 2008, 6 a.m. CST
...for reminding me about SPLIT IMAGE. It's been many many years since I last saw it, but I remember it being pretty damned good and Woods is terrific.
Nov. 18, 2008, 7 a.m. CST
even a bad movie benefits from him....
Nov. 18, 2008, 7:40 a.m. CST
by The Central Scrutinizer
...I always felt bad for that poor Mustang convertible. It really takes a beating in this film.
Nov. 18, 2008, 7:52 a.m. CST
Great movie. The confession scene is incredible and it was improvised. It wasn't scripted, it was all James Woods.
Nov. 18, 2008, 9:08 a.m. CST
This movie is singularly his bravest, most controlled, most mature, most disciplined, principled stuff he's ever made. Perfect synchronization of impeccable ' Roger Donaldson ' cinematography, measured directing, gripping, edgy script, and FRICKING KICK-ASS POSTERS !!! It's one of the most exact melding of hyper-kinetic, inflammatory filmic vision and execution that is so damn precise it's documentary - not only in its presentation of facts, but in the realization of a brutal, horrid ( and unfortunately, ongoing ) political reality. The ' Mean Streets ' of his oeuvre, no doubt. Fucking fucking excellent.
Nov. 18, 2008, 9:21 a.m. CST
He started with such acclaim in Deer Hunter and Onion Field but his man-on-the-ragged-edge characterizations seem to have fallen off and he never got the work I always thought he should have - though I notice him in quite a few Spike Lee films, Spike having (whatever you may think of him personally) an undeniable eye for underappreciated talent ... with the exception of Theresa Randle whom i never liked.
Nov. 18, 2008, 9:25 a.m. CST
Im sure everyone here knows Woods was actually Tarantino's first choice for the role that eventually went to Tim Roth in Reservoir Dogs - would he have done the role justice? He's considerably older - I'm guessing - what - 20 years older - maybe the Keitel-Roth scenes wouldn't have been as poignant. Dunno.
Nov. 18, 2008, 10:20 a.m. CST
That scene haunts me to this day! Great film, liked it way more than "Platoon". "Split Image", was that the one where Woods is a 'de-programmer' for cult victims? Twas also very good.
Nov. 18, 2008, 10:29 a.m. CST
I remember her more for "Youngblood" with Rob Lowe. Cute as a button and a nice little ass as well.
Nov. 18, 2008, 11:44 a.m. CST
Ditto BadMrWonka. These reviews are one of the best elements of this site. They're also slightly frustrating as I continually add to my extremely long Netflix list (I have no time to watch all of them). As for James Woods, does anyone remember his role on a TV miniseries called Holocaust? I looked it up on IMDB and realized it was from 1978 - yikes! It was the first time I recall seeing him and both he and Michael Moriarty really stood out from a large cast of characters. He was an artist who made it through the war in a concentration camp. It was a long time ago but his performance was wrenching best as I can recall.
Nov. 18, 2008, 11:45 a.m. CST
by Mr. Zeddemore
The reviews are excellent, sir.
Nov. 18, 2008, 12:08 p.m. CST
I recently saw this again on MGM movie channel. Hadn't seen it in years, and I did see it first time it came out. Stone filmed the movie in Mexico, after his government liaison in El Salvador was shot in the face while playing tennis at the Club Deportivo in San Salvador. I guess the Salvadoran government at the time wasn't keen on a Yanqui doing a movie about the death squads. The movie does refer to many real life shocking events that occurred in El Salvador in the early 80s. I was thinking that "Under Fire" with Gene Hackman and Nick Nolte, was a similar movie, with real life events and people and fictitious main characters. In any case, a good review. "Once Upon A Time in America" is one of my favorite films of all time, and I saw the long version in L.A. when it was released, complete with a ten minute intermission...
Nov. 18, 2008, 12:23 p.m. CST
by Royston Lodge
I was surprised by how much I liked it, since I usually despise Oliver Stone's work. Salvador seems to be the only one of his flicks where the hero's leftie sensibilities are actually challenged by the facts of the real world.
Nov. 18, 2008, 12:32 p.m. CST
by Royston Lodge
Roth was definitely the better choice. Don't get me wrong. I'm a huge James Woods fan. But that role required a chameleon of an actor. When James Woods is in a movie, he's always "James Woods". He's one of those actors who cannot get away from his own persona. The viewer simply cannot suspend disbelief. He's always good, but he's always HIM. Tim Roth is much better at disappearing into a role.
Nov. 18, 2008, 12:36 p.m. CST
by Royston Lodge
Cast your votes now: 1) The Simpsons: Homer & Apu. 2) Family Guy: Peter's Got Woods. 3) Family Guy: Back to the Woods. 4) Clerks: Episode 3.
Nov. 18, 2008, 1:54 p.m. CST
Woods: OK, let's, let's just try that again, OK? Come on. Hey, come on -- hey! Get over here. OK, now you're you, I'm me. / Jimbo: [with trepidation] I'm me? / Woods: [grabs his collar] Hey -- don't... jerk me around, fella. // As for Salvador, I like the Dennis Martinez shout-out.
Nov. 18, 2008, 2:06 p.m. CST
The scene where is scraping the cheese out of the microwave with a barrage of obsenities rips me up EVERY time! Classic.
Nov. 18, 2008, 2:34 p.m. CST
Nov. 18, 2008, 2:47 p.m. CST
by Mysterious Bones
One of my all time favourite films that I actually loved even more the more I found out about it. Woods met Boyle and didn't exactly like the guy but grew to respect him. Always thought it must be very odd & difficult for an actor to play somebody who is standing there watching you play them (especially when that persons an asshole!). Stone & Woods & the others actually travelled to El Salvador and Woods in particular was convinced they were going to die there (and rightly so). They ended up taking the production to Mexico when the movies military contact was brutally murdered. This is one of those films that they should show in schools to kick off a lesson on central america and how complex a place it is.
Nov. 18, 2008, 3:22 p.m. CST
Ties in nicely with Salvador. Savage gives one of the all time best performances in that flick. Woods is amazing too. It's a rather flat, depressing movie, but there the kidnapping sequence and the baby sequence are some of the best put on film, especially for that period.
Nov. 18, 2008, 5:56 p.m. CST
James Woods is one of thos guys who makes almost any movie entertaining (he took the Specialist from "God-awful" to "God-awful whenever James Woods isn't chewing up scenery"). But how can any discussion about James Woods not include Videodrome? <p> "Long live the New Flesh!"
Nov. 18, 2008, 6:04 p.m. CST
He was very good in two films based on James Ellroy’s work: Cop, based on one of the Lloyd Hopkin’s books, “Blood on the Moon” (not that great of movie but LOVE Woods in it); and “Since I Don’t Have You”, for Showtime’s Fallen Angeles series, where Woods plays Mickey Cohen and Gary Busey does a great job playing sleazy PI/bagman Buzz Meeks.
Nov. 18, 2008, 6:07 p.m. CST
You should definitely check this film out--Woods and a young Robert Downey Jr. Also--I didn't remember seeing it on the list, but another really great Caan flick is Michael Mann's "Thief".
Nov. 18, 2008, 7:24 p.m. CST
I don't think it's possible to make a more "80s" movie than that one... And how can you beat James Woods and Bruce Dern trying to out-con each other? It's like oily personalities ooze off the screen...
Nov. 18, 2008, 10:10 p.m. CST
Powerful movie definitely. And yes, Diggstown is a freaking classic in my book!
Nov. 18, 2008, 10:45 p.m. CST
belush and ritter rule
i liked when salvador was fighting that gang in the parkinl lot and he was like i am part viking and i'm gonna take you all down to valhalla before you kill me,
Nov. 18, 2008, 11:37 p.m. CST
by Tom Cullen
...in just about everything he does, and he certainly nailed it here in Stone's superb Salvador. He's teriffic is Best Seller too, have fun with that, it's a really enjoyable 80's thriller, and the Dennehy vs Woods dynamic really is something to behold. <p>Anyway, speaking of the criminally under appreciated John Savage and the always awesome James Woods, The Onion Field, with those two in starring roles, is an absolute must see if you haven't done so already. Great film from Howard Becker, who went on to direct Woods again in the criminally little seen The Boost, which boasts another great Woods performance, this time as a white collar coke junkie stuck in an endless downwards spiral. Of course it's probably most famous for being the film where Woods hooked up with co-star Sean Young, who allegedly later superglued his cock to his leg during one of her bouts of crazy, although this is likely all urban myth, and both have always denied it ever happened (though Woods once said that it wasn't his leg that she glued it to, it was his ankle...lol). Aaanyways...<p>Amongst my other fave James Woods roles would have to be True Believer, with Woods as a burnout ex civil rights lawyer, opposite Robert Downey jnr, The Hard Way, the all but forgotten early 90's buddy comedy he did with Michael J Fox, and the exceptionally enjoyable Diggstown. But my absolute fave, Videodrome, no contest. <p>Still Woods has given so many great performances, in everything from Casino, Nixon, The Virgin Suicides, True Crime and The Getaway remake, through to lesser seen films like cult film (in both senses of the word) Split Image, the under appreciated Eyewitness, and the all-but-forgotten Fast Walking. Plus regardless of what you think of the films, who could forget his kick ass Jack Crow in Carpenter's Vampires, or his role in the Quitter's Inc segment in the Stephen King anthology flick, Cat's Eye. Yep, James Woods is the fucking man.
Nov. 18, 2008, 11:59 p.m. CST
"That sounds like a great movie!" "Yes...movie..."
Nov. 19, 2008, 12:33 a.m. CST
Keen to read your take on Best Seller...