Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Curtis Hanson - RIP

Film director Curtis Hanson has died. He was 71 years old.

Hanson seemed destined to never break out in Hollywood, only to remain in the B-movie realm he first started in the 70's under the eye of Roger Corman and through out the 80's with a series of forgettable little thrillers (save for the Tom Cruise-Shelley Long sex comedy Losin' It). His fortunes changed on a dime in 1992 with the popular domestic shocker The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. The theme of a fractured family being terrorized by an evil outsider continued with his follow-up feature The River Wild, which brought acclaim to stars Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon and would later be a longtime staple of cable television.

Hanson finally became part of the elite in 1997 with L.A. Confidential. He worked overtime on the film: he producde it, co-wrote a shapable script with Brian Helgeland from the dense James Ellroy novel, and shaped a pulpy vision of the glamorous, smutty, and corrupt times in 1950's Los Angeles. Famous for its creative twists and kickstarting the careers of Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce, the film earned major raves from critics and was awarded "Best Film" by major publications and critic organizations. Though it was overshadowed at the Oscars by the juggernaut that was Titanic, Hanson walked away with one for Best Screenplay. The movie has since grown in praise over time and is one of my absolute favorites.

Hanson's next projects were the very underrated Wonderboys, starring Michael Douglas and considered one of the best movies about writers, and popular rap movie 8 Mile, which famously had Eminem in the lead role and featured the amazing rap epic that is "Lose Yourself".

His career started to rapidly decline with the so-so reception to In Her Shoes and the absolute box office disaster Lucky You. He popped back up in 2011 with the acclaimed HBO television film Too Big To Fail but he finally had to call it quits the very next year. He left during the production of the surfer drama Chasing Mavericks due to heart problems, leaving Michael Apted to handle the rest.

He will be missed.

No comments:

Post a Comment