Tag Archives: Kevin Spacey

The Set of 400: #27 – My Favorite Lana Turner Cameo

Today! Because this is the City of the Angels, and you haven’t got any wings –

L.A. Confidential (1997)

Directed by Curtis Hanson (x2)

Starring Guy Pearce (x3), Russell Crowe, James Cromwell (x3), Kevin Spacey (x3), Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito (x7), David Strathairn (x5), Ron Rifkin (x2), Matt McCoy, Graham Beckel, Amber Smith, Simon Baker, Paul Guilfoyle (x2), Darrell Sandeen, John Mahon

Man, they really did not know how to market this movie. Like, look at that poster! Besides just being a terrible composition of pictures, this – like most ads for the film – focuses on Kim Basinger, despite her being at best the fifth or sixth lead in the film. I went with this poster because most chose to spotlight Kevin Spacey – himself not remotely the star of the film, plus his subsequent reveal as a huge monster. I almost chose this poster instead:

Meh

But it doesn’t show anyone at all, and instead leans heavy on reviews and names – again getting Spacey first. Maybe due to its twisty, complicated plot, L.A. Confidential wasn’t a huge hit in its day, but the acclaim was deafening, so it would get its due at the Oscars at least, right?

Incorrect

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The Set of 400: #126 – My Favorite Set of Steak Knives

Today! Because I can go out there tonight with the materials you’ve got and make myself $15,000. Tonight! In two hours! Can you?

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

Directed by James Foley

Starring Jack Lemmon (x4), Al Pacino (x3), Ed Harris (x2), Alan Arkin (x4), Kevin Spacey (x2), Alec Baldwin, Jonathan Pryce (x3), Bruce Altman

Hey, surprise back-to-back Jonathan Pryce movies! Now in the past I’ve mentioned some stage-y films (say, Noises Off) and really stage-y films (Rhinoceros), but then we’ve got Glengarry Glen Ross, which is one of the stagiest goddamn motion pictures ever made. Seriously, it’s what, 80% in the office? Maybe more than that? Sure, they broke some moments out into the rain or that bar, but it’s almost a unit set film, and that set isn’t anything all that striking or cinematic. So how do they counteract this? Towering, screaming performances, that’s how!

Enjoy this one room, suckers!

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The Set of 400: #260 – My Favorite Coffee Mug

Today! Because I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Soze –

The Usual Suspects (1995)

Directed by Bryan Singer (x2)

Starring Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Spacey, Chazz Palminteri, Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Pollak, Benicio Del Toro, Pete Postlethwaite, Giancarlo Esposito, Suzy Amis (x2), Dan Hedaya (x2), Clark Gregg, Louis Lombardi

A cast and crew simply bursting with purported monsters, The Usual Suspects is nonetheless an amazing movie, if you can get past its baggage. Dazzling, Oscar winning screenplay by apparent Tom Cruise captive Christopher McQuarrie (seriously, his resume over the last 15 years is almost exclusively writing and/or directing Cruise pictures), breakout movie for director Singer (accused of much, the most mild of which being on-set difficulty), and Oscar winning role from subsequent huge movie star Kevin Spacey (who did his level best to top Harvey Weinstein as Biggest Scumbag of 2017 – verdict still out, as of this writing! Who won? None of us, right?).

So with all that – not to mention fervent Trump supporter Stephen Baldwin – can you still wrap your arms around The Usual Suspects and praise it to the heavens like this was 1995? Again, in putting together this list, I’ve tried to be honest with myself. How much does actor/director off-screen drama affect my enjoyment of their films? And the answer is – probably some? Probably less than it should? I mean, I’m not going to run out and see a new Kevin Spacey film, but ones previously existing and beloved? Movies cement themselves for me basically when I first see them – my estimation might rise or fall over time, but that’s still based on film criteria almost exclusively. I might not agree with Clint Eastwood’s politics, but that doesn’t change how much I like In the Line of Fire, get me? I can stay out of my own way in that regard. Pretty much.

The 2012 RNC convention was equally as crazy as Every Which Way But Loose, I’m just saying

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