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The Best Picture Project — Titanic (1997)

The film poster shows a man and a woman hugging over a picture of the Titanic's bow. In the background is a partly cloudy sky and at the top are the names of the two lead actors. The middle has the film's name and tagline, and the bottom contains a list of the director's previous works, as well as the film's credits, rating, and release date.Directed by James Cameron

Screenplay by James Cameron

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, David Warner, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Bill Paxton and Gloria Stuart

I saw Titanic in it’s first weekend in release, on Christmas Day 1997.  I distinctly remember this because I’d never seen a movie theater lobby so overrun with people before, nor had I ever been forced to sit in the third row from the front on the leftmost aisle before.  Spending three-plus hours leaning back and craning my neck to the right was hardly the ideal way to see the film and yet, it did not stop me from recognizing this was a seminal moment for me in film.[1]

And surely, given how it was such a cultural phenomenon, I’m not the only one who was captivated by Titanic[2].  In fact, it’s fair to say the whole world was captivated by it[3]  , given it was the first film to do more than $2 billion at the global box office[4]. Continue reading

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Terse Movie Review – Misery, dir. by Rob Reiner

As great a movie as Misery is, it’s overall quality seems to flow from two things:

  1. William Goldman’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel; and,
  2. The performances.

The one thing it’s overall quality doesn’t flow from:

  1. Rob Reiner’s completely bland and uninteresting direction.

I mourn the loss of the movie this would have made had somebody with a flair for the material – i.e. Brian Depalma – directed it instead of wasting his time on crap like The Bonfire of the Vanities.

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Grin and Bare It – Actresses and Nudity

(Author’s note: This essay originally appeared in four parts and is compiled into one here)

Part I: First Nudity After-30

Recently my wife and I watched The Proposal, the Sandra Bullock-Ryan Reynolds romantic-comedy.  Normally I’m not big on Sandra Bullock romantic comedies, though I did enjoy Two Weeks Notice.  While The Proposal was enjoyable – if completely farfetched – I was struck by the nude scene Ms. Bullock performs halfway through the movie.  Leading into the release of the film I’d heard all the fuss about her doing a nude scene for the movie and even if I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it – by the time it hit DVD I forgot all about it – it wasn’t unwelcome. 

When I saw it I was pretty impressed about how well she’s holding up at 44 and then I remembered all the press leading into the film making a big deal about this being her first nude scene and this got me thinking about what other actresses waited until later in their careers – specifically, post-30 – to do nudity.  Below Below are a dozen – a baker’s dozen – not necessarily the best debuts, and not necessarily actresses who went on to greater things, but just an even dozen, from oldest to youngest, of women who waited until they were beyond thirty to do nudity on film for the first time.

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