All in Review

Review: L.A. Confidential (1997)

L.A. CONFIDENTIAL should have won Best Picture for 1997. Curtis Hanson’s adaptation of the James Ellroy novel about corruption and greed is one of my favorite movies ever made. Why? It really comes down to two things: a terrific ensemble cast and the ability of Hanson and co-screenwriter Brian Helgeland to adapt a mammoth novel into a film that actually works.


Long before Michael Crichton resurrected dinosaurs with “Jurassic Park” or even unleashed homicidal cowboy robots on unsuspecting guests (the first time) in WESTWORLD (1973), he wrote a now-classic tale of germ warfare and the scientists who are called in to deal with the aftermath of a satellite that crashes to Earth and unleashes a deadly microorganism.

Goldsmith Deconstructed

Because STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME was such a spectacular success, attention quickly turned to another sequel. Due to contractual obligations, the job of directing STAR TREK V was handed over to William Shatner, who also wrote the initial concept for the film. Drawing inspiration from the televangelist phenomenon, Shatners initial outline, subtitled "An Act of Love," dealt with a holy man on a quest to find God.

Trek Charts a New Path Home

STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME completes a trilogy of films that began with STAR TREK II. Yet in many ways, it also feels completely different from the first two parts in that trilogy and perhaps in the Star Trek franchise as a whole. The tone is noticeably and purposefully lighter, and the extensive location shooting makes the entire film feel much more airy and wide open than the others, which were almost exclusively confined to soundstages.