Monday, February 21, 2011

“5 favorite movie presidents - AZCentral.com” plus 1 more

“5 favorite movie presidents - AZCentral.com” plus 1 more


5 favorite movie presidents - AZCentral.com

Posted:

by Christy Lemire - Feb. 21, 2011 12:00 AM
Associates Press

LOS ANGELES - Every possible kind of U.S. president has been depicted on the screen: corrupt ones and honorable ones, real ones and fictional ones. So with today being Presidents Day, it's as good a chance as any to say hail to the chief. Here's a look at five favorite movie presidents:

Henry Fonda in "Fail-Safe" (1964): Not that it's surprising, but Fonda is everything you'd want in a president. He's decisive but even-tempered, commanding but kind, and he even shows a sense of humor. He is, in short, a good man. And when he has to make the most difficult choices imaginable in the face of nuclear annihilation, he's calm and gracious every step of the way.

Sidney Lumet's stripped-down, gripping drama envisions a world on the brink of disaster, when machines fail and the humans assigned to run them are filled with Cold War mistrust. With the help of a young Larry Hagman as his Russian translator, Fonda reasons with the premier in Moscow and reaches a compromise that's devastating - but not as devastating as it could have been.

Peter Sellers in "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" (1964): Same year, same topic, completely different tone. Stanley Kubrick's biting political satire allows Sellers to show off his comic genius and the breadth of his transformative powers in not one, but three distinct parts: as the proper British group Capt. Lionel Mandrake, the volatile former Nazi Dr. Strangelove and President of the United States Merkin Muffley.

This last role is actually his most subdued; in a roomful of mad characters, Sellers serves as the understandably horrified voice of reason. He's even a little sheepish as he calls to explain to the Russian premier: "Dimitri, we have a little problem . . . ." It's a performance that defies expectations.

- Kevin Kline in "Dave" (1993): One of Kline's best performances in one of the best films Ivan Reitman ever directed and Gary Ross ever wrote. Like Sellers in "Dr. Strangelove," Kline has multiple jobs here: He stars as Dave Kovic, a mild-mannered guy who runs a temp agency. But Dave happens to look exactly like President Bill Mitchell, and when the president suffers a stroke - while sleeping with one of his aides - he's secretly called on to impersonate Mitchell.

Dave makes the most of this challenge, cutting the budget, bringing a new, upbeat tone to the Oval Office and even falling for the first lady, played by a lovely Sigourney Weaver. "Dave" offers a perfect balance of sweetness, smarts and humor.

John Travolta in "Primary Colors" (1998): This is a bit of a cheat because, for a long time, Travolta is just playing a candidate for president. But he's clearly patterned on Bill Clinton, and Travolta's performance is dead-on.

With the combination of Mike Nichols' direction and longtime collaborator Elaine May's script, of course "Primary Colors" is going to be sharp and insightful. But Travolta brings the film to life - and does some of the best work of his career - as Gov. Jack Stanton. He's charming as hell in that smooth, Southern way, but he's also flawed and self-destructive, with a weakness for women. He largely remains a mystery while still managing to inspire hope.

Josh Brolin in "W." (2008): A rather conventional biopic, but Brolin's so good, he almost makes us feel sorry for George W. Bush. Almost. He certainly gets the innate humor within the frequent buffoonery - and he's got the voice and the demeanor down pat - but he also seems to recognize the tragedy of this figure, a man who was in way over his head for one of the world's most complicated jobs.

Director Oliver Stone offers a surprisingly fair and balanced assessment of our 43rd president: that, basically, all he wanted to do was watch baseball and drink beer all day, and instead ended up being chosen as leader of the free world. Twice.

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Luhrmann to shoot 'Gatsby' movie in Sydney - MSN Indonesia News

Posted:

By Agence France-Presse, Updated: 2/20/2011 6:21 AM

Moulin Rouge director Baz Luhrmann is to shoot a 3D remake of F.Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" starring Leonardo DiCaprio in Sydney, officials said Sunday.

Luhrmann to shoot 'Gatsby' movie in Sydney

Luhrmann to shoot 'Gatsby' movie in Sydney

Luhrmann, an Australian, had also considered filming in New York -- the setting of the novel -- but New South Wales Premier Kristina Keneally said Sydney finally won out on the Warner Bros-backed blockbuster.

"What better endorsement of our states world-class film making capabilities -- weve won (the) right to produce this iconic New York story ahead of New York itself," said Keneally.

"The Great Gatsby will be a boon for the NSW film industry, particularly given Baz Luhrmanns commitment to maximising use of local cast, crew and visual effects expertise."

Keneally said the movie would be based at Sydney's Fox Studios and pre-production would begin in March.

The project would bring more than Aus$120 million (US$121.7) into the local economy and create hundreds of jobs, she added.

"This comes at a good time for the film industry," Keneally said.

"Australia was thought to be losing international filmmaking due to the strong Aussie dollar. Put simply, this is a big win."

Fitzgerald's 1920s classic has had several screen incarnations, the most famous of which was released in 1974 and starred Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.

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