On May 31, Warner Home Video will release a 40th Anniversary Blu-ray Edition of Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange -- widely considered to be one of cinema's greatest and, let's be honest, creepiest films. And if that's not enough Kubrick for you (when is there ever enough Kubrick for anyone?), good news. On the same date, Warner plans to release a nine-movie, ten-disc Stanley Kubrick Limited Edition Collection, which will feature Blu-ray editions of Spartacus, Lolita (new to Blu-ray), Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon (new to Blu-ray), The Shining, Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut.
For those who haven't seen A Clockwork Orange (And why haven't you? Go watch it now.), it's a dark, satirical film that takes place in a dystopian, future Britain and follows Alex, a charismatic man who takes pleasure in rape, classical music, and "ultra-violence." The film features disturbing imagery, but is viewed as a commentary on psychiatric therapy, politics, and violence. It's based on the book by Anthony Burgess.
In other words? It's a pretty fucked-up film. But it's one of those pretty fucked-up films in a good way. Check out the special features below.
• Commentary by Malcolm McDowell and historian Nick Redman
• Malcolm McDowell Looks Back: Malcolm McDowell reflects on his experience working with legendary director Stanley Kubrick on one of the seminal films of the 1970s (new)
• Turning like Clockwork: the film's ultra-violence and its cultural impact (new)
• Still Tickin': The Return of Clockwork Orange
• Great Bolshy Yarblockos!: Making A Clockwork Orange
• Theatrical Trailer
• Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures: Kubrick's career comes into sharp focus in this compelling documentary narrated by Tom Cruise. Fascinating footage glimpses Kubrick in his early years, at work on film sets and at home, augmented by candid commentary from collaborators, colleagues and family (new to Blu-ray)
• O Lucky Malcolm!: Documentary about the life and career of actor Malcolm McDowell produced and directed by Jan Harlan
The 40th Anniversary Edition will be packaged in a 40-page Blu-ray Book with rare photos, production notes and more.
The Harry Potter star posed with a copy of Anthony Burgess' controversial work - which features scenes of rape and murder - as part of the American Library Association's READ campaign.
The scheme is aimed at encouraging children and teenagers to indulge in classic literature - but Grint insists he was not advising youngsters to read the 1962 novel.
A spokeswoman for the star tells WENN, "He was asked his favourite book - he isn't suggesting other people read it - he is just supporting the initiative."
The actor joined his former co-stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson in signing up to the American Library Association's READ campaign, which encourages children and teenagers to indulge in classic literature.
But Grint has made a macabre choice for his recommended reading - Anthony Burgess' rape-and-violence fuelled 1962 book.
Campaign posters show the three actors holding up their favourite novel, and Grint's co-stars have made a more sombre choice - Radcliffe loves Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita while Watson recommends Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
Johnny Depp is tipped to play Batman villain The Riddler in the next installment of the comic book movie series.
After the huge success of The Dark Knight, which has taken $440 million at the worldwide box office, producers are confident they can convince Depp to take on Christian Bale's Batman on the big screen.
And, according to the National Enquirer, studio bosses also want Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman onboard to play another of the Caped Crusader's arch-foe, the Penguin.
The Riddler was played on the small screen in the 1960s by Frank Gorshin and in 1995 movie Batman Forever by Jim Carrey. Hoffman would be stepping into the shoes of TV and movie Penguins Burgess Meredith and Danny DeVito.
A source tells the Enquirer, "(Producers) are convinced that the role of the Riddler is perfect for Depp. Johnny's a pro. He'll be able to take direction from director Chris Nolan and still make the character his own.
"And what better Penguin is there than Philip Seymour Hoffman."
COPYRIGHT 2008 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All Global Rights Reserved.
When U.S. soldiers return home from fighting in Iraq (and obviously anywhere else not touched upon in this movie) the war doesn’t necessarily end. Stop- Loss follows a trio of those soldiers--Sgt. Brandon King (Ryan Phillippe) Tommy Burgess (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Steve Shriver (Channing Tatum)--from Tikrit all the way back to their small Texas hometown to which they return heroes. Brandon is the natural-born leader with a solid head on his shoulders; Tommy’s head is considerably less solid; and Steve is the textbook alpha-male quick to explode bits of virility. However they're all now struggling to adjust to the normalcy of home life--even Brandon who can’t shake the horrifying combat flashbacks. But then Brandon learns that he has been stop-lossed: forced to return to active duty in Iraq against his will. The direct order couldn’t have come at a worse time for Brandon who had just washed his hands of Iraq’s atrocities and was planning on staying home for good. Before long he’s AWOL on his way to Washington D.C. where he hopes to find the senator who promised to help him. Brandon makes a few painful but necessary pit stops en route to D.C. that further fuel his contempt for the war. Ultimately he is faced with a can’t-win decision that no one should ever have to make. The acting in Stop Loss much like the film itself runs very hot and cold. For female viewers of course it’ll all be hot primarily because of Phillippe and Tatum both of whom are in Army mode (read: shirtless). But the performances are a slightly different story. Phillippe has carved out a niche for himself with these brooding serious roles of late (i.e. Breach) but they don’t seem like much of a stretch. He succeeds for the most part as Stop-Loss’ imperiled protagonist although he has a tendency to kick it into angst overdrive on occasion. Tatum (Step Up) on the other hand rarely succeeds in the movie and does seem like he’s stretching his limits during scenes that call for conveyance of real emotion--scenes of emotional shirtlessness if you will as opposed to the physical kind. Indie veteran Gordon-Levitt (The Lookout) as usual is the best of the bunch making easy work of the movie’s most genuine complex character. Abbie Cornish (Somersault)--Phillippe’s rumored real-life girlfriend--plays Steve’s girlfriend and the one with whom Brandon drives across the country. She hides her Australian accent well enough for credibility as a born-and-bred Texan but her performance and presence are forgettable. Writer-director Kimberly Peirce apparently doesn’t make movies unless she needs to get something off her chest. Nine years ago she had something very powerful to say on the subject of (trans)gender discrimination and sexual violence with Boys Don't Cry (for which Hilary Swank won an Oscar) and now the Iraq War is on her brain. Whereas most of today’s vocal war opponents simply aim to incite anger and outrage over the war Peirce does them all one better: She’s staunchly anti-war sure but she is also pro-soldier and Stop-Loss is the soldiers’ story before it is a Bush diatribe. Peirce is effective at speaking on the soldiers’ behalf and making the final third of the film very stirring. But the transition to get to that point? Not so much. The difference between much of the film and its final act is like night and day--or more fittingly like dramatization and documentary. Stop-Loss is an MTV Films production and feels every bit like it early on complete with overly juiced-up theatrics and music that detract from the story’s humanistic aspect. Which would be one thing if it stayed that course throughout but it doesn’t; it makes an unsubtle turn near the end switching from a vendetta man-on-the-run story to an insightful topical commentary on the war and its soldiers. Fortunately that commentary outweighs the unevenness.
Martin Scorsese's gangster movie The Departed and road comedy Little Miss Sunshine walked away with the top prizes at the Writers Guild of America Awards in Los Angeles last night.
William Monahan won the Best Adapted Screenplay award for The Departed, while Michael Arndt collected Best Original Screenplay for Little Miss Sunshine.
Best Documentary Screenplay went to Amy Berg for Deliver Us from Evil.
Elsewhere, The Sopranos writers Mitchell Burgess, David Chase, Diane Frolov, Robin Green, Andrew Schneider, Matthew Weiner and Terence Winter won the Best Dramatic Television Series award.
The Office writers Steve Carell, Jennifer Celotta, Greg Daniels, Lee Eisenberg, Brent Forrester, Ricky Gervais, Mindy Kaling, Paul Lieberstein, Stephen Merchant, B.J. Novak, Michael Schur and Gene Stupnitsky won the Best Comedy Television Series award.
Ugly Betty writers Veveronica Becker, Oliver Goldstick, Silvio Horta, Sarah Kucserka, Sheila Lawrence, Cameron Litvack, Myra Jo Martino, Jim Parriott, Marco Pennette, Dailyn Rodriguez and Don Todd won Best New Television Series.
COPYRIGHT 2007 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All Global Rights Reserved.
Desert romance The English Patient, A Clockwork Orange and gay cowboy epic Brokeback Mountain have been included in a shortlist of the best 50 books to make it to the big screen.
The list, compiled by Britain's Book Marketing Society, honors literary classics turned into movie masterpieces and will be voted on by readers online and at UK bookshops.
Among the works cited, director Steven Spielberg is responsible for three: J.G. Ballard's Empire of the Sun, Thomas Keneally's Holocaust drama Schindler's Ark (filmed as Schindler's List), and Jaws, written by Peter Benchley.
Meanwhile, movie re-workings of Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient, Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange, and Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest have garnered 14 Oscars and another 11 Academy Award nominations.
Goodfellas, Pride and Prejudice, Get Shorty, Doctor Zhivago and Fight Club also make the shortlist.
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
Top Story: Schwarzenegger Must Repay Campaign Loans
Superior Court Judge Loren McMaster ruled Monday that by borrowing more than $4.5 million to finance his run for governor in last October's recall election, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had broken a state law restricting candidates from accepting personal loans of more than $100,000 for their campaigns and would therefore have to repay the money. According to Reuters, an upbeat Schwarzenegger said Tuesday that he would pay $4.5 million on top of the $5 million he already spent to be elected. "The $4.5 million we got loaned from the bank, I always intended to pay that back myself, so it was a great decision," Schwarzenegger said. "We never wanted to raise the money to pay it back. I myself pay for that." When campaigning last fall, the Republican governor rallied against special-interest donations and attacked his opponents, including his Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, for taking donations from unions and Indian tribes with casino interests. At the time, Schwarzenegger argued he would not have to depend on outside money to finance his campaign because he was independently wealthy.
Halle Berry OK After Set Accident
Halle Berry, who broke her arm last year while shooting Gothika in Montreal and injured her eye on the set of the James Bond actioner Die Another Day, was injured once again on the set, this time while working shooting a scene for her the comic book adventure pic Catwoman. Production spokesman Joe Everett told The Associated Press Tuesday that Berry was taken to a hospital after colliding with a piece of set equipment while filming a running scene, but is now back at work. "She had to maneuver past a piece of equipment, a set piece and she didn't quite run past it, but she's just fine," he said. "She was taken to hospital Saturday night, treated and released and was at work again Monday morning."
Faith Evans and Husband Arrested
R&B singer Faith Evans and her husband, record executive Todd Russaw, were arrested and charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana and booked at the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, the AP reports, but a spokeswoman at the Hapeville Police Department would give no details Wednesday morning. The 30-year-old singer received a Grammy nod for her duet "Can't Believe" with Carl Thomas from her 2001 album, Faithfully and has worked with Whitney Houston and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, who signed Evans to his Bad Boy label and produced her first album. Evans was previously married to Christopher Wallace, aka Notorious B.I.G., who was killed in a drive-by shooting in March 1997.
Swept Away Lawsuit Surges Forward
A lawsuit in which self-described singer, songwriter, director and actor Vincent D'Onofrio (not the actor of the same name from NBC's Law & Order: Criminal Intent) accuses Madonna and her husband, director Guy Ritchie, of stealing the idea for 2002's Swept Away remake will go to court May 4, the AP reports. D'Onofrio sued Madonna, Ritchie and Sony Pictures in Superior Court in October 2002, claiming he pitched the idea for a remake of the 1975 Italian comedy to Madonna in April 1997 and had several meetings with her and Ritchie--who then cut him out of the credits and compensation. Attorneys for the couple have said D'Onofrio has no proof of a contract with Madonna or Sony. D'Onofrio is seeking$10 million in damages.
Kelly Osbourne Gets ABC Pilot
Kelly Osbourne is going from reality TV to scripted fare with ABC's drama pilot Doing It. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the series, based on British author Melvin Burgess' controversial young-adult novel of the same name, centers on the sexual antics of three 16-year-old Seattle boys: Dino (Sean Farris), Jonathan (Chris Lowell) and Ben (Jon Foster). Osbourne will play Jonathan's love interest. Osbourne and her father, Ozzy, recently topped the U.K. singles chart with a cover of Changes, a single Ozzy originally recorded with Black Sabbath. The third season of the MTV reality series The Osbournes premiered Tuesday night.
Mandy Moore Nixes Reality Show
While some in Hollywood embrace the concept of having their private lives broadcast on TV, others refuse to warm up to the idea, including singer/actress Mandy Moore. "I love watching reality shows, but I would never want to be in or on a reality show," Moore told AP Radio. Moore, who is dating tennis star Andy Roddick, says her life just isn't exciting enough for people to tune in. She also added that a behind-the-scenes show about Roddick would also never happen. "It was supposed to be like a documentary or something at first, and then someone kind of took that and ran with it and it kind of snowballed out of context," Moore said, adding that if someone close to her were in such a show, she wouldn't stick around long enough to be in it.
Nick Lachey Joins ABC
MTV's other reality series, Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica, seems to have also launched the careers of pop stars Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey into network territory. Lachey, formerly of boy band 98 Degrees, has sealed a six-figure deal with ABC, following in the footsteps of Simpson, who is already developing a sitcom with the network. Under the deal, Lachey will be placed in one of ABC's sitcom pilots as well as in a music or variety special, Variety reports. Network insiders said it's possible ABC may even pair the Simpson and Lachey projects back-to-back, perhaps as part of the "TGIF" franchise. ABC recently announced plans for the newlyweds to host a modern-day Sonny and Cher-style variety show sometime this spring.
The Writers Guild of America has announced its nominations for outstanding achievement in screen in 2002.
Antwone Fisher, Bowling for Columbine, Far From Heaven, Gangs of New York and My Big Fat Greek Wedding have been nominated for the WGA's best original screenplay award.
About a Boy, About Schmidt, Adaptation, Chicago and
The Hours meanwhile will contend for best adapted screenplay.
Antwone Fisher, Written by Antwone Fisher; Fox Searchlight
Bowling for Columbine, Written by Michael Moore; United Artists/Alliance Atlantis/Salter Street Films/Dog Eat Dog Films
Far From Heaven, Written by Todd Haynes; Focus Features
Gangs of New York, Screenplay by Jay Cocks and Steven Zaillian and Kenneth Lonergan, story by Jay Cocks; Miramax Films
My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Written by Nia Vardalos; Gold Circle Films/HBO/MPH Entertainment/Playtone
About a Boy, Screenplay by Peter Hedges and Chris Weitz & Paul Weitz, based on the novel by Nick Hornby; Universal Pictures/Studio Canal/Working Title Films/Tribeca Productions
About Schmidt, Screenplay by Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor, based on the novel by Louis Begley; New Line Cinema
Adaptation, Screenplay by Charlie Kaufman and Donald Kaufman, based on the book The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean; Columbia Pictures
Chicago, Screenplay by Bill Condon, based on the musical play, book by Bob Fosse and Fred Ebb and the play by Maurine Dallas Watkins; Miramax Films
The Hours, Screenplay by David Hare, based on the novel by Michael Cunningham; Paramount Pictures/Miramax Films
Animation--any length--one airing time (new category)
"The Bart Wants What It Wants" (The Simpsons), Written by John Frink & Don Payne; Gracie Films in association with 20th Century Fox Television; Fox
"Blame It on Lisa" (The Simpsons), Written by Bob Bendetson; Gracie Films in association with 20th Century Fox Television; Fox
"Godfellas" (Futurama), Written by Ken Keeler; 20th Century Fox Television; Fox
"Jaws Wired Shut" (The Simpsons), Written by Matt Selman; Gracie Films in association with 20th Century Fox Television; Fox
"My Own Private Rodeo" (King of the Hill), Written by Alex Gregory & Peter Huyck; 20th Century Fox Television Productions in association with Deedle-Dee Productions, Judgmental Films and 3 Arts Entertainment; Fox
Santa Baby! Written by Peter Bakalian & Suzanne Collins; Rankin/Bass; Fox
Original Long Form--over one hour--one or two parts, one or two airing times
Dor to Door, Written by William H. Macy & Steven Schachter; Turner Pages, Inc.; TNT
The Gathering Storm, Teleplay by Hugh Whitemore, Story by Larry Ramin and Hugh Whitemore; a Scott Free Production in association with HBO Films; HBO
Sins of the Father Written by John Pielmeier, based on the magazine article that appeared in Texas Monthly by Pamela Colloff; Artisan; FX
Strange Relations, Written by Tim Kazurinsky; Showtime; Granada Entertainment; Showtime
Adapted Long Form--over one hour--one or two parts, one or two airing times
"Batogne" (Band of Brothers), Written by Bruce C. McKenna, based on the book by Stephen E. Ambrose; DreamWorks/Playtone/HBO; HBO
Hysterical Blindness, Teleplay by Laura Cahill, based on the play by Laura Cahill; Hysterical Films, Inc.; HBO
Last Call, Screenplay by Henry Bromell, based on the memoir Against the Current: As I Remember F. Scott Fitzgerald by Frances Kroll Ring; Room 520/Barnstorm Films; Showtime
Mark Twain's Roughing It, Teleplay by Steven H. Berman, based on the book Roughing It by Mark Twain; Larry Levinson Productions; Hallmark Channel
Episodic Drama--any length, one airing time
"Game On" (The West Wing), Written by Aaron Sorkin & Paul Redford; John Wells Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television; NBC
"In Place of Anger" (Six Feet Under), Written by Christian Taylor; Six Feet Productions; HBO
"Nino Del Polvo" (Resurrection Boulevard), Written by Robert Eisele; Showtime; Viacom Productions, Inc.; Patagonia House; Showtime
"On the Beach" (ER), Written by John Wells; Constant C Productions; Amblin Television; Warner Bros. Television; NBC
Pilot (The Education of Max Bickford), Written by Dawn Prestwich & Nicole Yorkin; 20th Century Fox Television; CBS
"Whoever Did This" (The Sopranos), Written by Robin Green & Mitchell Burgess; Soprano Productions, Inc.; HBO
Episodic Comedy--any length, one airing time
"Change of Address" (Sex and the City), Written by Julie Rottenberg & Elisa Zuritsky; Darren Star Productions in association with HBO Original Programming; HBO
"I Heart NY" (Sex and the City), Written by Michael Patrick King; Darren Star Productions in association with HBO Original Programming; HBO
Pilot (The Bernie Mac Show), Written by Larry Wilmore; Regency Television in association with 20th Century Fox Television; FOX
"My First Day", (pilot, Scrubs), Written by Bill Lawrence; Touchstone Television Productions; NBC
"Plus One is the Loneliest Number" (Sex and the City), Written by Cindy Chupack; Darren Star Productions in association with HBO Original Programming; HBO
"Rooms With a View" (Frasier), Written by Dan O' Shannon & Lori Kirkland & Bob Daily; Grub Street Productions in association with Paramount Pictures; NBC
"The Wedding" (Ed), Written by Rob Burnett & Jon Beckerman; Viacom Productions in association with Worldwide Pants, Inc. and NBC Studios; NBC
Comedy/Variety---Music, Awards, Tributes--Specials--any length
The Kennedy Center Honors Written by Don Baer and George Stevens, Jr., Film Sequences Written by Sara Lukinson; A George Stevens Jr. Presentation - Kennedy Center Television Productions, Inc.; CBS
NBC 75th Anniversary Special, Written by Doug Abeles, James Anderson, Robert Carlock, Tina Fey, Charlie Grandy, Steve Higgins, Lorne Michaels, Paula Pell, Herb Sargent, Michael Schur, Michael Shoemaker; Broadway Video in association with NBC Studios; NBC
Comedy/Variety--(including talk) Series
Dennis Miller Live, Written by Eddie Feldmann, Jose Arroyo, Richard Dahm, David Feldman, Jim Hanna, Rob Z. Kutner, Kirsten McFarland, Dennis Miller, Jacob Sager Weinstein; Happy Family Productions; HBO
Late Night With Conan O'Brien, Written by Mike Sweeney, Chris Albers, Andy Blitz, Kevin Dorff, Jonathan Glaser, Michael Gordon, Brian Kiley, Michael Koman, Brian McCann, Guy Nicolucci, Conan O'Brien, Andrew Secunda, Allison Silverman, Robert Smigel, Brian Stack, Andrew Weinberg; Broadway Video; NBC
Mad TV, Writing Supervised by Scott King, Written by Dick Blasucci, Garry Campbell, Lauren Dombrowski, Bryan Adams, Bruce McCoy, Michael Hitchcock, Steven Cragg, Chris Cluess, John Crane, Jennifer Joyce, Tami Sagher, Devon Shepard, Rich Talarico, Jim Wise, Kal Clarke, Sultan Pepper, Bill Kelley, Maiya Williams, Dino Stamatopoulos; QDE/Girl Group; FOX
Saturday Night Live, Written by Tina Fey, Doug Abeles, Leo Allen, James Anderson, Max Brooks, James Downey, James Eagan, Hugh Fink, Charlie Grandy, Jack Handey, Steve Higgins, Erik Kenward, Dennis McNicholas, Lorne Michaels, Corwin Moore, Matt Murray, Paula Pell, Matt Piedmont, Ken Scarborough, Michael Schur, Frank Sebastiano, T. Sean Shannon, Eric Slovin, Robert Smigel, Emily Spivey, Andrew Steele, Scott Wainio, Jerry Collins, Tom David; Broadway Video in association with SNL Studios; NBC
Guiding Light, Written by Millee Taggart, Lucky Gold, Christopher Dunn, Tita Bell, Jill Lorie Hurst, Penelope Koechl, David Kreizman, Eleanor Labine, Alan Madison, Danielle Paige, A.J. Pierce, Janet Reed Ahearn, Susan Rice, David Rupel, Melissa Salmons, Eddie Sanchez, Lisa Seidman, David Smilow; Procter & Gamble; CBS
The Young and the Restless, Written by Kay Alden, Trent Jones, John F. Smith, Jerry Birn, Jim Houghton, Natalie Minardi, Janice Ferri, Eric Freiwald, Joshua McCaffrey, Michael Minnis, Rex M. Best; Columbia TriStar; CBS
Elmo's World: Happy Holidays!, Written by Christine Ferraro; Sesame Workshop; PBS
Off Season, Written by Glenn Gers; Showtime Networks, Inc.; Showtime
Our America, Teleplay by Gordon Rayfield, Based on the book "Our America: Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago" by Lealan Jones, Lloyd Newman and David Isay; Joseph Stern Productions; All Media, Inc.; Showtime
The Red Sneakers, Teleplay by Mark Saltzman, Story by Jeffrey Rubin; Lynch Entertainment, Tom Lynch Company, RS Productions, Ltd., Showtime Networks, Inc.; Showtime
Bioterror (Nova), Written by Matthew Collins; A Nova Production by the New York Times/ Granada Factuals USA and Lone Wolf Pictures, Inc., for WGBH/ Boston in association with Channel 4 Television; PBS
The Man Who Knew (Frontline), Written by Michael J. Kirk, Kirk Documentary Group; PBS
9/11, Written by Tom Forman & Greg Kandra; Goldfish Pictures, Inc.; CBS
Rollover: The Hidden Story of the SUV (Frontline), Written by Marc Shaffer & Barak Goodman; 10/20 Productions; PBS
Documentary--Other Than Current Events
America's First River, Part One, Written by Tom Spain; WNET/Educational Broadcasting Corp.; Public Affairs Television; PBS
Empire State Building Ironworker (A Day in their Lives), Written by Peter Hankoff; Termite Art Productions; History Channel; History Channel
Evolution of a Revolution (Founding Brothers), Written by Kelly McPherson and Melissa Jo Peltier & Allison MacEwan; MPH Entertainment Inc.; History Channel; History Channel
Monkey Trial (American Experience), Written by Christine Lesiak; WGBH Educational Foundation; PBS
News--Regularly Scheduled, Bulletin or Breaking Report
Attack on America Written by Jerry Cipriano, Paul Fischer, Thomas Harris, Hugh Heckman, Bruce Meyer; CBS Evening News; CBS
September 11th Controllers, Written by Jonathan W. Kaplan; CBS
It's 2054 and the Washington D.C. police department's Pre-Crime unit is six years old and going strong. The experimental program uses a trio of psychic precognitives to predict murders before they happen by connecting an elaborate machine to the precogs' brain waves that presents their visions to the Pre-Crime cops. Armed with advance knowledge and advanced weapons the Pre-Crime unit heads out to arrest the suspect before he or she commits the crime. Everything about the system is working perfectly until one day the chief of Pre-Crime John Anderton (Tom Cruise) sees himself as a killer in one of the visions. Refusing to believe he would ever commit murder Anderton finds himself fleeing from his former colleagues as he searches for a way to prove that Pre-Crime and the precogs aren't as infallible as their proponents would like everyone to believe. To discover the truth he kidnaps (he might say "rescues") the most psychically talented precog Agatha (Samantha Morton) and takes her along on a wild ride that explores the possibility of a preordained future and the ambiguities of the past--including the unsolved disappearance of Anderton's own 6-year-old son.
As Anderton Cruise adds another credit to an ever-growing list of films in which he's transformed his handsome face into a nearly unrecognizable mask. Despite the disguises it's impossible to forget that it's Tom Cruise up there but he plays the role with such gusto that you really can't fault the performance just because the actor has one of the best-known faces on the big screen. Cruise comes off as intelligent and aware of his character's context in cinematic history especially in the carefully crafted scenes that pay tribute to some great moments in moviemaking history. Especially noteworthy is the allusion to the behavior-modification scene in A Clockwork Orange: Cruise's eyelids are pulled wide open with metal clamps to allow a doctor to replace those baby blues with eyeballs that won't identify him in a retinal scan. Through this and other scenes Cruise proves in this film that while he might be a golden goose at the box office he's not afraid to be an ugly duckling too. Despite his forays into the grotesque Cruise is still the guy you root for in the Mission: Impossible-like chase and fight scenes that pepper Minority Report. A little less admirable and a lot less exciting is Max von Sydow as the director of the Pre-Crime program Lamar Burgess with a passable albeit dull performance. Morton's Agatha has spent most of her life floating in an isolated water tank so when the kidnapping takes her outside it's not surprising that she overplays the innocent-abroad thing. It must get old living in a tank envisioning murders but that's no excuse for the overdone performance. Finally Colin Farrell's understated FBI agent Danny Witwer is the perfect foil for Cruise's high-energy Anderton although Witwer thankfully sheds his mellow demeanor for a raucous fight scene with Cruise inside an auto manufacturing plant.
Since the buzz first started about Minority Report the press has been calling director Steven Spielberg the man who "practically invented" the summer blockbuster and there's no denying that this film represents another of that ilk. But the resemblance to a summer blockbuster ends with the red-hot star power Spielberg employs in Cruise. The feel of this film is much cooler thanks to a bleaching process Spielberg used to strip the rosy glow from the color. As a result the movie's look is a relentlessly stark and very high contrast tribute to classic film noir and it's exciting just to watch the images unfold on the screen. The tribute Spielberg pays deliberate or not to previous directing greats is also fascinating so watch for the allusions. There's also some really cool eye candy in Spielberg's imagined future and the movie is worth seeing for that reason alone. From talking animated cereal boxes to voice-activated houses to the crystal-clear computer monitors and prison cells this is a movie that really pays attention to detail--perhaps at times a little too much attention. The plot is captivating and the story is solid; unfortunately Spielberg wields the philosophical subtext with such a heavy hand that it feels as if you've been beaten over the head with it. Is it morally acceptable to imprison someone who hasn't actually done anything? How much freedom will you give up to live in a world without crime? These questions are asked over and over in the film's action and dialogue and frankly they grow tired. After last year's A.I. debacle we'd hoped Spielberg had learned his lesson about movies that are an hour too long and way too pushy with their message. Apparently not.