24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Michael Douglas

Around Town: Sharon Stone and Hannibal Lecter, Spaghetti westerns and leprechauns

March 17, 2011 |  5:00 am

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Sharon Stone is front and center at the American Cinematheque's Aero Theatre in Santa Monica this weekend. She'll be on hand Friday evening for a screening of Martin Scorsese's 1995 gangster flick, "Casino," for which she won a Golden Globe and received a lead actress Oscar nomination as a Las Vegas hooker. On tap for Saturday is a screening of the R-rated shocker that put her on the map, Paul Verhoeven's 1991 "Basic Instinct." Stone plays a bisexual femme fatale who snares a San Francisco cop portrayed by Michael Douglas. Also screening is "The Quick and the Dead," Sam Raimi's 1995 western with Stone, Gene Hackman, Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio.

The American Cinematheque's monthlong tribute to composer John Barry continues this weekend at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood with the four James Bond films he scored. Screening Friday is a double feature of 1963's "From Russia with Love" and 1971's "Diamonds Are Forever." There will also be a screening of a rare interview with Barry. On tap for Sunday is the double bill of 1964's "Goldfinger" and 1967's "You Only Live Twice."

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Critical Mass: 'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps'

September 24, 2010 |  1:00 pm

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The years have not been kind to Gordon Gekko, as we see from the opening moments of Oliver Stone's "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps." The '80s bad boy who once famously boasted that "Greed is good" is now an ex-con, recently released from prison into a world even more cutthroat than the one he left.

The same could be said for Stone's film, which attempts to recapture the magic of the 1987 original but seems to have cleanly divided the critics. They generally still love Michael Douglas' Gekko but could pass on the rest of the stuff Stone adds to his plate.

The Times' Kenneth Turan found the sequel to be unfocused and sloppy: "The film has more moving parts than a pricey Rolex, and they are not all in sync." But he does have high praise for the bad guys, if only we could see more of them. "So let's hear it for Josh Brolin's Bretton," Turan says. "And some applause for the fearless 94-year-old Eli Wallach's Julie Steinhardt, terrifying when he makes eccentric bird noises and talks about the crash of '29 and the end of the world. And we can't forget Michael Douglas as Gekko Redux, at least in those moments when the film allows him to be as bad as he ought to be."

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'Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps' gets a later bedtime

March 10, 2010 |  2:37 pm

Carey Those eager to see award-season fixture Carey Mulligan on the big screen (but without the blond haircut) will have to wait a little longer. Mulligan's next film, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" -- in which she stars opposite her rumored real-life boyfriend Shia LaBeouf -- has been pushed by Fox from its initial April 23 release date to Sept. 24. The date change takes it off a weekend that brings the  comic book adventure "The Losers" and the romantic comedy "The Back-Up Plan" and moves it to a weekend with period Roman adventure "The Eagle of the Ninth" and romantic comedy "You Again."

Variety, which originally reported the story, attributed the date change in part to the film's bid to enter the  Cannes Film Festival, which runs from May 12-23.

A studio spokesperson declined to discuss the reasons behind the date change, but did confirm that the film had been "submitted" to Cannes and is "under consideration."

If the film is accepted, it won't be LaBeouf's first journey to the French Riviera -- back in 2008, he was at the festival to promote the world premiere of "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."

Oliver Stone's sequel, which follows the classic 1987 original, has Michael Douglas reprising his Oscar-winning role as greedy Wall Street executive Gordon Gekko. After emerging from a long stint behind bars, he's eager to return to his old ways while trying to reconnect with his daughter (Mulligan) and her fiance (LaBeouf), whom he befriends.

--Amy Kaufman

Photo: Shia LaBeouf and Carey Mulligan star in "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps." Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.


Preview review: 'Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps'

January 29, 2010 |  5:13 pm

Ever since it was announced that Oliver Stone was finally ready to tackle a sequel to the classic 1987 film "Wall Street," film fans have questioned how the director will handle a new and arguably more challenging economic climate. While a newly released trailer for "Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps" doesn't give much away, it does drop us right back into the fast-paced, "Greed is good" world of executive Gordon Gekko.

As seen in the trailer, Michael Douglas' character -- reprising the role that scored him an Oscar -- emerges  from a long stint behind bars. He's eager to return to his old ways, but the trailer makes clear that it's not going to be easy for Gekko to immediately get back into the swing of things: As he exits jail, he's handed his clunky old mobile phone and there's no limo ready to pick him up.

Other than flashy aerial shots of New York City, we don't get to see much of the film's other players: Gekko's daughter (Carey Mulligan), whom he's trying to reconnect with, and her fiance (Shia LaBeouf), whom he befriends. We see the least of Mulligan, who is only shown in a flimsy oversized boyfriend shirt, typing away at a laptop in her swanky apartment. LaBeouf, who plays a character named Jacob, is shown dressed in expensive-looking tailored suits, riding through the city streets on a motorcycle or flying above them in a helicopter. We get the sense LaBeouf''s character will attempt to serve as some type of moral compass for Gekko, or at least a worthy adversary: "No matter how much money you make, Mr. Gekko, you'll never be rich," he tells his soon-to-be father-in-law in the trailer.

By comparison, it's pretty amusing to watch the trailer for the original 1987 film starring Charlie Sheen, who makes a cameo in the new film. (Check out the old school cellphones and computers!)

So, do you think the new film will be able to live up to the original? Is Shia LaBeouf as charming a leading man as Charlie Sheen was over two decades ago? Will a film about the greed on Wall Street prove to be timely or didactic? Weigh in in our poll below.

-- Amy Kaufman


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