On September 24th Oliver Stone will release his sequel to the campy 80's drama, Wall Street. Yes, Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps (what a horrible subtitle) seems hardly an event to trumpeted, but I have to be honest: for maybe only the third or fourth time this year I'm actually kind of excited to go out and see a movie on the day of its release. So, prior to the release of Stone's latest film I thought it would be interesting to go back and look at his most revered period of filmmaking. From 1986 - 1995 just about every film he released was nominated for numerous Academy Awards. Now, I know that Oscar's aren't the be-all-end-all barometers of how good a movie is, but I do find it interesting for that nine year period Stone was somewhat of a golden boy in Hollywood. After the release of Nixon it seems that he his films started to become too self-indulgent and smug and he lost favor with his audiences (the tipping point was probably his overly long failure Any Given Sunday). So what I'm interested in doing (and I'll be doing this for some other filmmakers who have films coming out this year...Peter Weir being one of them) is going back through Stone's early oeuvre and revisiting his films to see if I can accomplish two things: a.) to see if they're as good as I remember them being (all I remember about films like Platoon and Born on the Fourth of July is that I really like them, but it's been at least 10 years since I've seen them) and b.) whether or not Stone is really as good a filmmaker as I remember him being (I still love the rather polarizing JFK and Natural Born Killers), or if he's nothing more than a faux-documentarian who loves to stir the pot with his controversial films. Look for the first set of reviews (Salvador and Platoon) on Monday.
Other filmmakers I plan on doing these retrospectives on: William Friedkin (he had quite the interesting fall in Hollywood, going from making influential crime and horror films to making straight to video movies) and Peter Weir (who, finally, has a new movie being released this year). Any other suggestions on filmmakers you would like to see me cover? Leave your suggestions in the comment section.