George Clooney: The Last Movie Star?

At the Academy Awards Red Carpet, Regis Philbin said to George Clooney (and I’m paraphrasing): For years everyone wanted to be Cary Grant and now everyone wants to be George Clooney.

Clooney’s response: “Well that’s because he’s dead and nobody wants to be dead.”

Ah George Clooney. I’ve loved him since his ER days. I know. It might seem like I’m too youngto be saying this but I’m being completely serious. The summer before I was in the seventh grade I refused to eat dinner with my family nearly two months so I could watch every single episode of ER. But I digress.

Debonair, handsome, and classy are just some of the words that describe George Clooney. And the comparisons to Cary Grant are inevitable. Just look at the picture.

I just think that in this time of celebrities (not stars) and media overkill, there needs to be an actor like George Clooney who is a throwback to when not only the movies but the actors and people associated with them were great as well.

The March 3 issue of Time Magazine has a great profile of George Clooney, called George Clooney: The Last Movie Star. It is a must-read for any Clooney or classic Hollywood fans. In fact, it’s just an excellent article that you should definitely check out if you have the time.

You can read it here. Enjoy :)

Review: Michael Clayton (2007)

Clayton’s Depth Challenges, Provokes Viewers

We live in dangerous times where every action you take can change from ordinary to life-threatening in as few as four days. This is the world depicted in Michael Clayton, a provocative thriller about the dangers of challenging corrupt institutions.

Michael Clayton, directed by Tony Gilroy, follows the title character during the worst four days a man can experience. Academy-Award winner George Clooney portrays Michael Clayton, the “janitor” of a prestigious New York City law firm, responsible for fixing any messes the firm encounters.

After Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson), a well-respected lawyer and Clayton’s close friend, rambles incoherently and strips down naked during a critical deposition, it becomes Clayton’s job to restore Eden’s good name. But Edens apparent mental breakdown is not entirely what it seems.

Edens discovered a dark truth about U-North, the company he had been defending in a class-action lawsuit and was building a case against the company. Once Clayton also learns the company’s secrets and lies, he becomes a target as U-North attempts to hide its past.

Tony Gilroy, best known for penning the Bourne trilogy, makes his directorial with Michael Clayton. From the film’s opening sequence, where Arthur Eden’s seemingly irrelevant narration expertly combines with images of janitors to the film’s explosive but remarkably poetic conclusion, Gilroy creates an intelligently crafted thriller that does not disappoint.

Michael Clayton
benefits from a remarkable supporting cast that includes Wilkinson, Sydney Pollack as Michael’s boss, and Tilda Swinton as U-North’s deceptive attorney.

But it is George Clooney, in perhaps his most compelling role to date, who makes Michael Clayton a near-perfect film as he weaves effortlessly through the multiple layers of his character. Michael Clayton is a disheartened father, a gambler, a failed businessman, a devious lawyer, and an anti-hero. He challenges U-North when no other person is able too, at first to help his friend but ultimately to save his own skin.

The audience never truly understands Clayton or finds comfort in knowing that he is responsible for solving the film’s many problems. But this is not the film’s intention. Michael Clayton, instead, uses this complex and flawed character to present an interesting take on individualism, undesired heroics, and current American ideals relating to powerful institutions.

Michael Clayton is an exhilarating character exploration with relevant political themes. Its use of suspense and smartly crafted filmmaking cement Michael Clayton place as an early Oscar contender.

Published: Mount Holyoke News
October 18, 2007

Updated October 20, 2010

No, No, NO!

If this rumor is true (and it could be), then it’s just is not right.

Hong Kong action star set to lead in Japanese Remake

Mon May 29, 5:40 AM ETHONG KONG (AFP) – Hong Kong action star Donnie Yen is set to lead in the Hollywood remake of Japanese classic The Seven Samurai, alongside George Clooney and Chinese starlet Zhang Ziyi, a film company said.

Yen met with Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein during Cannes film festival to discuss the remake of the 1954 action film directed by Japanese master Akira Kurosawa.

Weinstein has invited Yen to play one of the seven sword heroes in the film, according to Mandarin Films, which represents the actor.

Donnie has met Harvey Weinstein in Cannes to discuss the project,” a spokeswoman for Mandarin Films told AFP. “We don’t know more details as it is still at an early stage.”

She said Weinstein has also invited Clooney and Zhang to lead the film. It is not clear how much the project will cost.

Yen, 43-year-old actor, director and action choreographer, has starred in over 40 films, including Blade II, Seven Swords and Zhang Yimou’s Hero.

The Seven Samurai tells a story of seven Samurai heroes’ who battle with 40 bandits who try to control and constantly attack a small village.


This makes me cringe. Harvey Weinstein, I expect better choices from you.

Apparently, because the original The Seven Samurai is black and white AND has subtitles, it is worthy of some minor updating. AKA CGI-affects and a $100-million budget.

If you haven’t seen The Seven Samurai, it is Japanese filmmaking at it’s finest. I will admit that the picture moves VERY slow. But each shot is beautiful, with strong artistic merit and every character, no matter how small a role, is vital to films dramatic, action-packed conclusion. See it, please. TCM airs it regularly.

Fortunately, the world renowned Asian actor George Clooney would star in the remake as Kambei, the head Samurai, you know, to add to the film’s authenticity.

Yes. This will be a great success.

My 2006 Academy Awards Recap

The Oscars were really good this year (definitely much better than last year’s show.) Where to begin?

The opening montage of every classic moment/actor digitally animated… wow. For a classic film freak like me, it was fun trying to see how many movies I could name. Then the comedy bits started. I loved it when Jon Stewart woke up in bed with George Clooney. “Is this a dream?” “No.” Great way to start the show.

Stewart’s first few jokes completely bombed but after that he picked up steam. Then he lost it again. That’s okay. Nothing can stop me from loving Jon Stewart. I loved the tribute to Westerns and the innuendos. “The gayest genre” according to Stewart if you watched Oprah today.

Best Supporting Actor goes to… George Clooney, as predicted. He gave a great speech. “All right, so I’m not winning director.” Then he added, “I’m proud to be out of touch”.

March of the Penguins won best documentary, although it should’ve gone to Enron. Still a great movie nonetheless and I loved how the director (I forget his name) dedicated the award to all the children who saw the film and how hopefully it could influence then when they’re making the important decisions (with environmental issues and such) by 2041.

Rachel Weisz winning was awesome and she looked gorgeous for being 7 months pregnant. In her speech she thanked those who do the humanitarian work like her character did in The Constant Gardener.

I guess the old fart’s don’t run Hollywood afterall. I mean, 36 Mafia won for best song. By far the most excited (and more shocked than the cast of Crash) to win.

Robert Altman, director of M*A*S*H and Nashville, received the honorary oscar. Well-deserved. He’s been denied too long. His next feature is A Prarie Home Companion. Meryl Streep and Lindsay Lohan star in a great ensemble cast.

Philip Seymour Hoffman won Best Actor for his role as Truman Capote in Capote. And he dressed for the occasion.

Another shocker. Reese Witherspoon won.

Love Ang Lee. Great director. He deserved it for Brokeback Mountain.

But the best moment of the evening had to be when Crash pulled the biggest upset in recent year’s. Yes, I was expecting that it could happen and as the night went on, it was becoming a little more clear to me that it could, but stilll I was shocked. My jaw literally hit the floor. And then I was pissed. Why? The acceptance speech was cut off. Come on now. They make this big deal during the show to promote great Oscar moments and the producer ruin one by turning off the mic.

I’ll respond to the controversy surrounding this win tomorrow.

The Crash posse

Other great moments:

  • The mock political campaigns fro Best Actress. “Keira Knightley, acting while pretty.”
  • Lauren Bacall. Need I say enough.
  • The montage tributes to epics, film noir, and biopics.
  • Itzhak Perlman, playing selections from each nominated score.
  • Stewart, ” “‘Good night and good luck’ — the line that Mr. Clooney ends all of his dates with.” The look on Clooney’s face… priceless.

Overall a great night at the Oscars. Can’t wait until next year. I’m thinking Scorcese could finally win.

Review: Syriana (2005)

Timing makes or breaks a political thriller. As long as a political thriller is relevant to any current issue, then chances are it will be excellent, good or, at the very least, highly entertaining. The best examples are The Manchurian Candidate (1963) and the satire Dr. Strangelove (1964); both relate to the Cold War era, the fear of power and the fear of communism. Syriana falls into this category of great political thrillers because of its relevance to current global issues.

Syriana spans three continents and its overlapping plotlines show the affect that a merger of two Texas oil companies, Connex and Killen (great subtle names), has on each character. Jeffrey Wright plays a Washington lawyer assigned to hash out the details of the merger for the companies bosses,  played by the always brilliant Chris Cooper and Christopher Plummer.

Then there is Prince Nasir (Alexander Siddig), who risks assassination when he favors China over the United States in an oil deal. He also risks not becoming the next Emir because of his approval of Western ideals and his willingness to apply some to his own country. Matt Damon plays energy analyst Bryan Woodward who uses the accidental death of his son at the Prince’s home to become an economics advisor for the Prince.

There is the story of Pakistani migrant worker and his father. When they are laid off from their jobs at Connex due to the deal struck between Nasir and the Chinese, the son is driven to terrorism. We watch as he goes through the motions in order to become a terrorist. It is a story that is emotional and hard to watch.

But my favorite character in this movie was Bob Barnes played by George Clooney. Barnes is a CIA operative reaching the end of his days and will soon be placed at a desk job. He is a man struggling with his personal life as well the fact that he has been used by most people. By gaining over 30 pounds to play an unflattering yet hypnotic character, Clooney gives the performance of the lifetime.

This is film that unflinchingly looks current global issues ranging from terrorism to the power and corruption of big companies. As Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote in his review of Syriana, “Clooney says his company will produce more movies like Good Night, and Good Luck and Syriana. Godspeed.”

Updated October 9 2010