Tag: Matt Damon (Page 1 of 7)

5 Best Boston Movies

I spent three years in the Boston area (Cambridge to be precise) and got a decent feel of the city while I was there. These weren’t my favorite years, and frankly I had more fun in three months in New York City than I had in three years in Boston.

Boston is a provincial place, but you can’t deny it has character. Also, it’s such a beautiful city, and even the shitty parts have a vibe that comes across on the screen.

I recently watched “The Town” for the first time, and I wondered why we needed so many movies about Boston. Then, when listening to The Rewatchables podcast for this film, Bill Simmons asks the question about the best Boston movies. This isn’t a surprise, since Simmons loves lists almost as much as he loves Boston.

But, as usual, he comes up with pretty good lists . . . and he nailed it with his Boston list. And since I agree with it, here’s my take on those best Boston films in no particular order:

The Verdict

Screenshot The Verdict Paul Newman and Charlotte Rampling

This movie made a real impression on me when I was younger. I wanted to be a lawyer, and “The Verdict” captured the drama of arguing the ultimate case . . . perhaps too well, as the law in real life is much more boring and far less dramatic. But these are the types of cases lawyers live for. Paul Newman is brilliant in this film as the broken down lawyer who finds redemption. Meanwhile, the backdrop of Boston, with all its history and tradition, provides the perfect, romanticized setting for an epic David vs Goliath legal battle.

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Box Office Preview: ‘Bourne’ (sans Damon), ‘The Campaign,’ and ‘Hope Springs’

The Bourne Legacy

After the first three “Bourne” movies grossed a combined $945 million worldwide, Universal Studios wasn’t going to let something as “petty” as the series’ star, Matt Damon, walking away stop the cash from flowing in. Even though “The Bourne Legacy” will likely break an impressive pattern—that each of the trilogy’s installments was more successful than the last in terms of both opening and cumulative grosses (“The Bourne Identity” debuted to $27.1 million and had a domestic total gross of nearly $122 million, “Supremacy” made $52.5 million in its opening weekend, winding up with $176 million, while “Ultimatum” opened to $69.3 million and had $227 million to its name when things were all said and done)—the studio can still expect to make a pretty penny. Plus, given that “The Dark Knight Rises” was last week’s top earner with just shy of $36 million in its third week, Universal can expect to own the nation’s number one movie, as “Legacy” will have no problem clearing $30 million over its first three days at the box office.

Anyway, let’s talk about the film itself, shall we? With Damon gone, writer/director Tony Gilroy, who also wrote the screenplays for the first three “Bourne” movies, had to come up with some way to introduce a new main character. As we find out from the trailer, “There was never just one… Jason Bourne was the tip of the iceberg.” Enter Jeremy Renner (“The Hurt Locker,” “The Avengers“) as Aaron Cross, who’s essentially another Jason Bourne.

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Matt Damon and Friends Get Away with Poker Winnings

Matt Damon, star of the Bourne series is among the big names to be spared a court battle which would have revealed details of massive illegal poker winnings.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and Damon’s Good Will Hunting co-star Ben Affleck have also escaped the courts after being involved in games with jailed hedge fund manager Bradley Ruderman.

Ruderman conned multiple people out of millions of dollars before surrendering to the FBI in 2009. Two years later news broke that after reportedly losing $25million of his investors’ money, Ruderman was suing the celebrities who beat him.

It seemed inevitable that details of the high-stakes poker games; illegal in Hollywood; would come to light in the courts, but yesterday it seemed that the quartet of celebrities have gotten away with the cash.

The bankruptcy trustee who sued Damon, Howard Ehrenberg, told celebuzz.com that “all of the poker defendant cases are settled.

“The settlement of every poker related case without having had to incur the cost of taking any of them to trial means that the fund available for the victims has been maximized.”

Ruderman had been living a celebrity lifestyle himself, spending the victims’ cash in Malibu, California, before being jailed.
Poker is still illegal in California, though some States allow the game, and others are looking to get in on the act. There is a lot of revenue available in online gambling, Texas Hold Em and Fast Poker games on the net, and North Dakota is among the States already reaping rewards.

Tobey Macguire was the among the first to settle, agreeing to hand over $80,000 of the $311,200 that he took from Ruderman in the series of underground poker games. It is currently not known how much Damon settled for, but he is believed to have taken significantly more money from the ex-hedge fund manager.

Bond is coming back; Soderbergh promises he’ll retire

In 1962, a bouncing baby franchise was born when superspy assassin James Bond did in the evil “Dr. No.” Now middle aged and needing a bit of exercise to keep its financial heart pumping after nearly five decades of very hard living, the Bond machine survived the end of the Cold War that spawned it, only to be stalled by MGM’s financial morass. Some thought, “It’s a 22 movie run, more if you count a few non-canonical Bond flicks, give it a rest already.” Today, however, Nikki Finke has word that Bond 23 is officially going ahead with star Daniel Craig and the long-rumored Sam Mendes in tow as director. You’ll have your next serving of Bond with your Thanksgiving turkey in November of 2012, assuming nothing untowards happens in post-production.

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In 1963, a bouncing baby human being was born in Louisiana. 26 years later, director Steven Soderbergh personally gave the modern day independent film movement one of its biggest kickstarts with 1989’s “Sex, Lies, and Videotape.” Now, he’s announcing officially that he’s packing it only two decades into a career that, at least in theory, could go another four or five.

Though Mike Fleming jokingly pre-accuses him of doing a Brett Favre, movie directors are not sports figures, and, to paraphrase Marcellus Wallace of “Pulp Fiction,” their asses really can age like a fine wine. John Huston, who led the kind of life that might have killed a lesser man in his forties, made one of his greatest films, “The Dead,” when he was pushing eighty and about to be dead himself. Old French New Waver Alain Resnais is scheduled to release a movie more or less to coincide with his 90th birthday, and Portugal’s Manoel de Oliveira released “The Strange Case of Angelica” in 2010, the year of his 102 birthday. (He’s supposedly working on another.) Almost no one, except Matt Damon, seems to be taking Soderbergh seriously about this.

12222010_soderbergh1

You know what, I’m on board with both moves. James Bond has become far bigger than any one set of filmmakers and, like Sherlock Holmes, Superman, and Mickey Mouse, there’s no reason he shouldn’t keep on chugging along indefinitely in new incarnations. And, given how surprisingly good “Casino Royale” was, I’m willing to let the current James Bond team overcome the disappointment of “Quantum of Solace.” All I ask is for a little more of “From Russia with Love”-era Bond and a little less shaky-cam Jason Bourne.

As for Soderbergh, I’m a fan who admires the fact that he’s unafraid to take risks and make movies that, admittedly, sometimes kind of suck, but always in interesting ways. Re: his impending retirement, I’ve watched too many creators repeat themselves over the years to have anything but respect for his decision. I think it’s possible that we all have only so many stories to tell in a particular way and that, perhaps, when we feel we’re through telling them in one medium, maybe the thing to do is switch to another that might permit new stories to emerge. Later, if we return to the first medium, maybe we’ll then have a new story to tell, or at least an interesting new way to tell it. So, if Soderbergh just wants to spend his life painting, I say, “bless him.” If he gets the urge to start making movies again from time to time and unretires as many times as Frank Sinatra, that’ll be great too. The thing not to do is stagnate.

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