Now in Theaters Everywhere
by: Kenneth Turan
Published by: Public Affairs
Buy From Amazon.com
Reviewed by Connie Anderson
Subtitled: A Celebration of a Certain Kind of Blockbuste
This book is a companion book to the 2004 Never Coming to a Theatre Near You: A Celebration of Certain Kind of Movie. Author and bestselling film critic Kenneth Turan profiles "intelligent" and original "big-budget" Hollywood films that sophisticated moviegoers may have missed--or dismissed simply because there were made in Hollywood.
Dividing movies into several categories: Action/Thriller, Comedy, Drama/Romance, Animation and Spectacle, he details why these movies should be seen by people who care about "intelligent entertainment."
I was pleased to see that a few my favorites were included--movies that I actually took the time to go see in the theatre, vs. waiting for the home versions. I love when I stumble onto a "sleeper," that's good enough for me to tell everyone, and if it starred my favorite actor, Kevin Kline, as in DAVE, all the better.
The book started with explaining why when the sci-fi "art film" Blade Runner was first introduced in 1981, it didn't do that well. And of course it didn't help that ET was introduced a month earlier (it grossed $300 million). In 1989 someone found an old version and it was re-released in fall 1991 in art theatres to great attendance.
Turan lists 32 thrillers, stating that Hollywood still knows how to make thrillers like Oceans Eleven, The Manchurian Candidate (both original and sequels). These kinds of movies translate well whether in the US or Japan, giving them global appeal.
He lists 22 comedies. Critically successful comedies are surprisingly too rare. Why? Comedy (and horror) are geared to the tastes of under and 25 set of moviegoers. He lists American Pie, Clueless, School of Rock and Spy Kids--movies that were not placed in a high school, done with gifted actors who could sometimes make unlikely material funny: Jim Carrey, Hugh Grant, Eddie Murphy, Jack Black, Ben Stiller, Whoopie Goldberg, Cameron Diaz, Will Ferrell and Will
In the Drama/Romance category Turan lists 35 movies. Many selected in the drama category also had a romantic aspect--as if they think we don't want drama without romance to soften it.
Armchair Interview says: If you are a movie lover, you'll find this very interesting. If you wonder if there are still movies worth your time and money, his insights may change your mind.
From our armchair to yours...