Matt Damon

Why Isn’t ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ Director Doug Liman a Household Name?

The overwhelmingly positive reviews that are greeting the new Tom Cruise actioner Edge of Tomorrow (out, erm, tomorrow) are a hearty mix of enthusiasm and surprise — enthusiasm at the film’s brainy wit and overall inventiveness, surprise that such elements are contained in such a blandly titled, seemingly generic Summer Action Blockbuster. Some have decided that the responsible party here is Tom Cruise, and the appreciations have followed suit; LA Weekly’s Amy Nicholson dubs him “our last real movie star,” Movies.com’s Jacob S. Hall calls him “the greatest living movie star.” Fair enough; Cruise has a long and storied filmography, a history of well-chosen collaborators, and he’s terrific in the film. Yet oddly little of this high praise has made its way to Edge of Tomorrow’s director, Doug Liman. Then again, this is nothing new; Liman is one of the most successful and reliable directors in Hollywood who somehow still has not become a household name. … Read More

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How ‘Monuments Men’ Went Horribly Wrong

On paper, The Monuments Men sounded unstoppable: A killer ensemble cast (including Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, and Cate Blanchett) backing up co-writer/star George Clooney’s dramatization of how a crew of art historians, artists, and architects saved scores of stolen art in the last days of WWII, a kind of Dirty Dozen by way of Ocean’s 11. This very site put it on our “most anticipated movies of the year” list — not once, but twice. … Read More

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An Appreciation of ‘Rounders’ on Its 15th Birthday

When Rounders hit theaters 15 years ago today, it looked like the next giant hit for mini-major Miramax. The star was Matt Damon, fresh off his Oscar win for Good Will Hunting, and the trailers (showcasing a scene in which his poker savant blind-reads a table of judges’ hands) did their level best to remind viewers of that connection. Damon’s co-star was Edward Norton, still flying high from his 1996 nomination for his film debut, Primal Fear. The female lead, Gretchen Mol, was an unknown, but a Vanity Fair cover that very month asked, “Is she Hollywood’s next ‘It’ Girl?” The supporting cast was loaded with terrific character actors, including John Turturro, Martin Landau, Famke Janssen, and John Malkovich. The director was John Dahl, who’d directed the moody indie fave The Last Seduction. It looked like a surefire hit. And then it was released… and it tanked. … Read More

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The Half-Assed Liberal Politics of Neill Blomkamp’s ‘Elysium’

The problem with the new film Elysium is very simple: it doesn’t tell any story worth hearing. It’s written like a child’s paint-by-numbers set. And though it bears some superficial resemblance to District 9, Neill Blomkamp’s much more complex first feature, it’s the kind of thing that could just as easily have been directed by Michael Bay or McG or, for that matter, Chris Columbus. The person at the helm is irrelevant; the parameters were predetermined. In fact, if you listen real hard, you can almost still see the suits in the background saying to the screenwriters: “Hey, can we involve a cute child with cancer, somehow? That’s big on the Internet.” … Read More

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Gorgeous Artwork Inspired by Your Favorite Modern-Classic Movies

Alice X. Zhang is a designer and illustrator with a love for movies, and that affection is clearly displayed in Moments, her upcoming solo show at the Bottleneck Gallery in Brooklyn. Zhang’s gorgeous images masterfully capture the essence of such modern classics as Pulp Fiction, There Will Be Blood, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Moonrise Kingdom; here’s a few highlights from the show, which opens Friday and runs through the month. … Read More

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