Military advisors add to the authenticity of the hit move 'Black Hawk Down'
By Dan Lybarger Hollywood may be the fantasy capital of the world, but one man has made it his business to keep filmmakers from straying too far from reality.
'The Count of Monte Cristo' can't triumph over bland action scenes and miscasting
By Dan Lybarger Adaptations of Alexandre Dumas' novels pop up on movie screens with the regularity of seasonal foliage. With their combinations of adventure, romance and scenic locales, it's a safe bet the 19th century writer could be on the A-list for some time to come. Sadly, many of the recent takes on his books (such as the Leonardo DiCaprio version of "The Man in the Iron Mask" and last fall's "The Musketeer") slice through the material with dull blades.
Kevin Spacey and cast add believability to the uneven drama 'The Shipping News'
By Dan Lybarger With its sterling literary pedigree, picturesque setting, proven creative team and dream cast, "The Shipping News" ultimately ends up less than the sum of its parts. In adapting E. Annie Proulx's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, writer Robert Nelson Jacobs and director Lasse Hallström (the team behind "Chocolat") capture an intriguing folk-tale ambiance but have trouble making some of the exaggerated story consistently credible.
By Loey Lockerby, Dan Lybarger and Jon Niccum The year 2001 didn't offer as many consistent cinematic delights as the movie of the same title. But the odyssey that was this film year had a number of things going for it, like the fact that it was a record-breaker at the box office. Despite all the glut of pay-per-view, DVDs and streaming Internet video, people still found the local theater to be the overwhelmingly preferred choice for entertainment.
Robert Altman reveals secrets to longevity in a cutthroat Hollywood environment
By Dan Lybarger Lady Sylvia: Mr. Weissman, tell us about the film you're going to make. Morris Weissman: It's a detective story about a murder in the middle of the night, a lot of guests for the weekend, everyone's a suspect.
Composer Alan Menken prepares for re-release of Disney classic
By Dan Lybarger It's not surprising that the 1991 Disney version of "Beauty and the Beast" is heading back into theaters. A box office smash, it became the first animated feature to receive a Best Picture Academy Award nomination and has inspired video sequels, a TV-series and even a successful Broadway show.
By Dan Lybarger "In the Bedroom" is a grim, upsetting film that deals with painful subject matter in a vague, almost fatalistic way. Because it's neither neatly resolved nor cheery, it offers little solace to a viewer. Still, a great cast and rookie feature director Todd Field's sure and intelligent handling keeps the story riveting in an offhand sort of way. There have been other films dealing with vengeance and grief, but Field's unpredictable approach makes "In the Bedroom" seem richer and more vibrant.
'Majestic' actor Landau remembers lessons of Hollywood's Commie witch-hunt
By Dan Lybarger In his new movie "The Majestic," veteran character actor Martin Landau delivers a stirring soliloquy about the joys of seeing vintage films and their deified stars in an opulent theater worthy of the content. It's a powerful experience he can recall from his own life.
By Dan Lybarger Many first-rate Hollywood filmmakers were affected by the anti-Communist blacklist during the 1950s. Talented writers like Dalton Trumbo ("Spartacus") and Abraham Polonsky ("Force of Evil") were denied work and screen credit for years because of their refusal to name Reds to the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. And the great director Elia Kazan ("On the Waterfront"), who did give up names, faced protesters (wearing rat costumes) outside the Academy Awards when he accepted a lifetime achievement award.