Author Topic: John Stockwell  (Read 4795 times)

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Gold Trumpet

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John Stockwell
« on: January 17, 2003, 08:54:02 PM »
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John Stockwell directs well, "teen movies". That is his classification but his movies never really are just that. He's directed three movies (Crazy/Beautiful, Cheaters, Blue Crush) and I've seen two of them and found a great delight in watching them because I never had any expectations when watching them because promotion for them always suggest a mindless teen movie even when I know he is a talented man. I think having no expectations brings up the movies even more because you feel you are getting more from them.

Most reviews of his films tell about this but from general fans of movies, people never really seem wanting to open up to watch his films or come to appreciate them. In the old forum, someone even posted a thread exclaiming at the madness of Ebert and Roeper giving Blue Crush two thumbs up  while putting down some indepedent features. Of course, he never saw the movie and only spoke on assumption and was wrong in criticizing the movie because it is a very good movie. Even Martin Scorsese spoke in Movieline about the movie when asked of what movies out there today he was interested by. Scorsese named off a few movies that came out fall of last year and actually named Blue Crush as a "very interesting film."

What makes John Stockwell so good for me is that within the genre he is working, he colors the film with realistic situations and a sense of excitement. So instead of comparing his films to She's All That, they get compared to Saturday Night Fever as they deal with the working class problems of kids who dreams go further what maybe their background or ethnicity may really allow them to at first glance. Watching his movies is like a feeling of watching a really good old Hollywood movie. You know the rules the movie is playing but when done right, you can't help but get enough of it when it is done so well. John Stockwell is making the best teen movies today and is worth noticing more than just on a level of the teen genre.

In Crazy/Beautiful, there are some really great scenes. Like when Kirsten Dunst's character has went completely over the edge in drinking and is caught by the cops and is brought back to her house and confronted by her father and stands screaming at him in only a shirt and underwear while her step mom is shouting how terrible of a girl is. The scene plays off so well because it takes a step back and lets us see Dunst's character in a pretty desperate position when she has nothing left of her dignity and reduced to wearing so little in an openly public area and brought to just being harrassed with cops and her boyfriend looking on. Another is a scene that comes later when Dunst's character has run away but comes back home to try face the problems with her father and does something she never did before, try to actually talk to her father. She lets her guard down and tries to meet him as a friend for the first time and when the step mother comes in and starts arguing about how discipline needs to be enforced in on her and then the father is shot in a great light that beams a white light of sort over part of his face and catches him in a joyous smile and all he can say to his wife is, "I'm talking to my daughter" when asked why he is still putting up with his daughter. Its a great shot that shows a man being able to smile for the first time about his daughter but he never smiles really too much in the shot, so you imagine that within him, there is a joy happening that he has always wanted.

Advertised as mindless teen movies, when really anything but.

~rougerum

Duck Sauce

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John Stockwell
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2003, 09:13:43 PM »
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Nice post. I might get around to renting one of these. You need to write a book.

Gold Trumpet

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John Stockwell
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2003, 07:33:24 PM »
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I got around to seeing Cheaters recently and am pretty convinced it is the best movie by him yet.

It is the true story of a high school academic team that won the state championship in an academ a thon by cheating and the entire onslaught on the kids when everything starts to crumble on them trying to keep their cheating a secret. One of the main things I admired about the movie is that it started out with the feeling of a very normal teen movie or light drama with words of how they will succeed but then as their choices started to become more jaded, it kept getting darker and showing more secrets and problems beneath their surface that actually got to a point where it was kind of shocking, especially for Jeff Daniels character, the high school teacher who encouraged cheating. I like what John Stockwell realizes about the movies that he is making, that he is making movies labeled as "teen movies" or "small dramas" and he starts out each movie making it following that assumption so you don't expect much from the film, but when you realize how involved it gets and how the complexity of the story is spilling over its genre and onto something else, you find it so much rewarding. Keaton and Kurosawa are the best examples of directors who understood that the best movies came from when the audience didn't expect much, and recieved more when the movie went beyond all expectations. When watching Kurosawa's High and Low, I heard by so many people how it was a great crime thriller but the movie started itself in such a small and delicate way that the words of greatness vanished from thought and I was focused on what kind of movie I thought I was watching and was blown away by the great results. That's the magic that will make all the Keaton movies more exciting than any Matrix movie and the Kurosawa's more emotional than most dramas.

*Spoiler ahead*
There is a great scene within Cheaters at the end, where the question of whether or not the students cheated has been brought to a frenzied media issue when the academic counsel has brought an investigation into the cheating accusation and the students responded by sueing them. The students get very good public sympathy for being a small time high school with very little in resources but all falls out when a disgruntled former member spills the secret to the press of what they did. The students combat by saying he is just jealous but public opinion has strayed against them. Then there is a scene where each student is getting questioned at the same time in different rooms by the student council at the hands of a very high profile laywer. The shot shows a monitor screen where each student is showed in one room and it is blocked off into 6 different screens. Then there is a cut to the lawyer entering one room and saying of how it is obvious they cheated and they can cut a deal and save face. Then there is a cut of each student reacting by just plainly saying, "We didn't cheat." There is a cut again to the laywer entering the room with papers and claiming that all the other students have signed confessions saying that they cheated and the one student masterminded it all. It goes back to the same shots and cuts of the students just rolling their eyes or giving smirks of no belief but the last cut, shows the last student giving a face of worry, and the camera only holds on that shot for a brief second and it cuts to the laywer getting excited and going in to make the kid a deal on signing the confession and saying that they did cheat to supposebly prove his fellow classmates wrong. It is such a quick and perfect little piece of editing that fully realizes the smartest and most effective way of how these kids were broken by the system.

Another interesting item comes from the very end and the main student of focus within the cheating fiasco finally getting out of school and going to college and regaining her normal life.  She explains the end in a voice over, but what struck me about the voice over is that she explains what she learned not only in a very timely and quoted manner, but mixed with an honesty all too true for our times. I will try to quote what she said, but I may have misphrased a little bit, but I am usually good at this: "Don't laugh at me, but I'm thinking of being a teacher. There's no more noble job than shaping young minds. What would I do if I caught one of my students cheating? I'd turn the little bastard in. Because if they could get by me, then I would know they were ready for the real world. I wouldn't have it any other way."

~rougerum

RegularKarate

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John Stockwell
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2003, 08:47:03 PM »
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©brad

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John Stockwell
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2003, 07:44:44 AM »
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Quote from: Duck Sauce
Nice post. I might get around to renting one of these. You need to write a book.


one step at a time bud.

Duck Sauce

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John Stockwell
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2003, 01:43:47 PM »
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Quote from: cbrad4d
Quote from: Duck Sauce
Nice post. I might get around to renting one of these. You need to write a book.


one step at a time bud.


Youve done a poor job trying to fill Pubricks shoes, he is back now, no need for you.

MacGuffin

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John Stockwell
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2003, 02:08:36 AM »
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Paul Walker Dives Into the Blue
Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Paul Walker (2 Fast 2 Furious) will star in MGM's action-thriller Into the Blue for director John Stockwell. Filming begins in October.

"Blue," written by Matt Johnson, is an underwater action-adventure about a group of scuba divers who uncover the sunken wreckage of a plane that contains illegal cargo. The divers then find themselves involved with a dangerous drug lord.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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John Stockwell
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2003, 01:04:29 PM »
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Blue Crush I rented about a month ago and liked it very much. My experience with this movie in particular was similar to that described by The Golden Trumpet -- I went in expecting nothing and as a result was very pleased with the overall competence of the director, John Stockwell, as well as the cast, which includes the lovely Kate Bosworth and a girl I'm sure could kick all our asses, Michelle Rodriguez.

There were a couple scenes in particular I would like to mention because I thought they were so well done. One was the scene in the hotel where the three girls were supposed to be cleaning the room but instead ended up trying on some of the clothes left lying around. It was shot very frenetically - handheld with quick cuts. I just remember this was the scene where I really began to invest myself in the characters -- and not because they were half-naked. I just felt the scene was able to convey very well a sort of innocence or childishness about the girls.

I also felt the surfing sequences were edited extremely well. The sound was very helpful in giving the viewer a sense of the danger involved in what the girls were doing. I can still hear that horrible squishy sound of the Kate Bosworth character scraping against the reef.

I think Stockwell is aware of what works and what doesn't, what will seem contrived and what won't. I don't think he's too interested in taking risks --he's a craftsman, not an artist -- which is one of the reasons I think his movies are good, not great.

Gold Trumpet

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John Stockwell
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2003, 03:42:05 PM »
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Quote from: MacGuffin
The story revolves around a group of scuba-diving best friends who discover the sunken wreckage of a plane off the Florida coast that contains illegal cargo. The divers then find themselves involved with a dangerous drug lord.


I love John Stockwell! What a terrible premise! Yet again I have no confidence in a project being good even if being aware of the filmmaker's immense talent for what he can do. This happened with Blue Crush and the effect of being proved wrong was so enjoyable. I am expecting nothing with this movie and hopefully I will be proved wrong. He's a magnificent genre filmmaker and I'm glad kids will be seeing his movies for entertainment. In that respect, he is invaluable.

~rougerum

mutinyco

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John Stockwell
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2003, 12:12:55 AM »
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GT, leave it to you to write eloquently about Crazy/Beautiful and not mention a thing about Kirsten's tits!
"I believe in this, and it's been tested by research: he who fucks nuns will later join the church."

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MacGuffin

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John Stockwell
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2005, 02:51:01 PM »
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George Joins the TURISTAS
John Stockwell-directed thriller is set in the jungles of Brazil. Source: FilmStew.com

Actress Melissa George, who's currently screaming with Ryan Reynolds on screens in MGM's remake of The Amityville Horror, has found a new leading man in Josh Duhamel. George will star with Duhamel in the John Stockwell suspense-thriller Turistas, which will be produced by 2929 Entertainment and Stone Village Pictures.

From a script Michael Ross, the story centers on a group of young adventure travelers who are backpacking through a Brazilian jungle. Their trip takes a turn for the worse when, after a bus accident, they are stranded in a remote beach town whose beautiful beaches are a front for a much darker secret.

Principal photography on the project is slated to begin on May 25 in Brazil. Stockwell will produce with Bo Zenga, 2929's Marc Butan and Stone Village's Scott Steindorff. Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban, partners at 2929, will executive produce, while Scott LaStaiti, Dylan Russell, Andrew Molasky and Kent Kubena are the co-producers. Foreign rights will be handled by 2929 International.

George, a native Australian, is repped by Paradigm. In addition to Amityville, she's also been seen in the features Mulholland Drive, Down with Love and Sugar & Spice, as well as the television series Alias and Thieves. Her next project is the drama-thriller Derailed, co-starring Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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MacGuffin

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Re: John Stockwell
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2006, 01:08:35 AM »
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Fox acquires 'Turistas' for Atomic unit
Source: Hollywood Reporter

NEW YORK -- Fox Filmed Entertainment will launch its new young-adult genre division, Fox Atomic, with its first acquisition, John Stockwell's horror feature "Turistas," produced by 2929 Prods. Josh Duhamel, Melissa George and Olivia Wilde star in the tale of college-age backpackers who embark on a dream vacation along the Brazilian coast. After an accident leaves them stranded, they discover a beachside bar filled with revelers, only to end up drugged by the locals and two of them kidnapped. Atomic, headed by president Peter Rice and chief operating officer John Hegeman, acquired the project Thursday after viewing it Tuesday night. "We picked it up pre-emptively before anyone else saw it," Hegeman said. "It's one of the things we want to do in the future -- act quickly and get films we love immediately."
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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©brad

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Re: John Stockwell
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2006, 08:51:40 AM »
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Quote from: cbrad4d
Quote from: Duck Sauce
Nice post. I might get around to renting one of these. You need to write a book.

one step at a time bud.

Youve done a poor job trying to fill Pubricks shoes, he is back now, no need for you.

 :rofl:

ahhh three years ago. what a time that was.

MacGuffin

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Re: John Stockwell
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2006, 12:09:00 AM »
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2929, Stockwell have 'Villain'-ous plans
Source: Hollywood Reporter

2929 Prods. president Marc Butan is in final negotiations for John Stockwell to direct Joshua Zetumer's thriller screenplay "Villain."

2929 will produce the film, scheduled for an early 2007 start, with Lynette Howell and Doug Dey of Silverwood Films ("Half Nelson"). The project reunites 2929 with Stockwell ("Crazy/Beautiful"), who last year directed their horror thriller "Turistas," starring Josh Duhamel. Fox Atomic will release the film Dec. 1.

After seeing "Turistas," 2929 wanted to keep Stockwell in the family, said Butan, who hopes that the director will deliver "a commercial, upscale, edge-of-your-seat thriller."

In "Villain," a forest-fire spotter with a secret is visited by his crazy brother in the remote, frozen wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.

Stockwell, a former actor, is known for his ability to handle such action-packed pictures as "Blue Crush," starring Kate Bosworth, and "Into the Blue," starring Jessica Alba and Paul Walker, as well as intimate dramas like "Crazy/Beautiful," starring Kirsten Dunst and Jay Hernandez.

Howell and Dey will produce "Villain" with Butan and Kent Kubena, who is overseeing the project's development for 2929, whose co-owners, Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban, will executive produce. 2929 International is shopping the film to foreign buyers at this week's American Film Market.

Based in Los Angeles, 2929 Prods.' Cuban and Wagner executive produced George Clooney's "Good Night, and Good Luck," which garnered six Oscar nominations, including best picture, and co-produced with Lionsgate "Akeelah and the Bee," starring Laurence Fishburne. Besides "Turistas," upcoming 2929 films include the Weinstein Co.'s "Fast Track," starring Zach Braff; Dimension Films' "Black Christmas," starring Michelle Trachtenberg; and "We Own the Night," starring Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg, which Universal Pictures will distribute.

Founded in 2004 by Howell and Dey, Silverwood Prods.' first two feature films, "Half Nelson" and "Stephanie Daley," premiered at January's Sundance Film Festival.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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MacGuffin

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Re: John Stockwell
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2007, 12:53:49 AM »
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Stockwell joins 'Middle of Nowhere'
Film being produced, financed by Bold Films
Source: Variety
 
John Stockwell will direct Susan Sarandon and daughter Eva Amurri in "Middle of Nowhere," a bittersweet romantic comedy about a clashing mother and daughter. Michelle Morgan wrote the script.

Pic is being produced and financed by Bold Films ("Bobby"). Michel Litvak and David Lancaster produce with Stockwell and Nicole Rocklin. The film will begin production in September.

Most recently seen in "Saved" and "Education of Charlie Banks," Amurri plays Grace, a young woman whose irresponsible mother (Sarandon) blows her college fund on her younger sister's beauty pageant campaign.

Stockwell is coming off the Fox Atomic thriller "Turistas." Amurri just completed the Vadim Perelman-directed "In Bloom" with Uma Thurman and Evan Rachel Wood for 2929 Productions. Sarandon just wrapped the Paul Haggis-directed "In the Valley of Elah" for Warner Independent, and "Mr. Woodcock" for New Line. She's about to start "Speed Racer" for Warner Bros.

Gary Michael Walters will exec produce "Middle of Nowhere" and Brian Ross and Richard Walters will co-produce.

ICM packaged it and Inferno will sell overseas territories at Cannes.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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