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It used to be that during the month of August we were guaranteed at least one breakaway hit, maybe even two if we were lucky.
Those two franchises are encountering lower returns than their originating properties, despite the latter being a much better film (both in terms of directing and story – and CHUCK NORRIS!).
So it’s not surprising to see The Expendables 2 repeat in the top spot handily defeating three newcomers, none of which could crack the top five.
The Expendables 2 may boast a huge arsenal of action stars (and weaponry), but it isn’t quite firing on all cylinders.
For families the two films hanging on after less than impressive debuts are the stop-motion animated release ParaNorman and Disney’s The Odd Life of Timothy Green.
Hope Springs is that other counterprogramming for the AARP crowd not named The Expendables 2. The other debut in the top ten, Hit & Run, got released onto 2,800 screens by Open Road Films. Travis Leamons is one of the Inside Pulse Originals and currently holds the position of Managing Editor at Inside Pulse Movies. Welcome back to IGN's History of Awesome - a year-long look back at all the coolest and most influential games, movies, TV shows, comic books, toys, and tech that have shaped pop culture, and shaped the lives of an entire generation. History of Awesome is IGN's 38-part trip down memory lane - each week we're covering a new year's most important, influential, or just-plain-awesome movies, games, TV shows, comics, and more. The story finds its footing as one of the Kingsman is killed in the line of duty, investigating the disappearance of several high profile names across the globe.
My main complaint, both as a critic and as someone watching this as pure entertainment, was the fight choreography. Additionally, if there was ever a film that would have benefit from a celebrity cameo or two, or even a better soundtrack, it’s Kingsman, but for the most part it had me yearning for proper, R-rated spy films. The career trajectory of Vaughn is interesting seeing how close he came to going fromLayer Cake to directing his Layer Cake star, Daniel Craig, in the relaunch of the James Bond franchise with Casino Royale.
With a role in one of the year's top-grossing movies, Transformers, a Christmastime National Treasure sequel opposite Helen Mirren and a villainous part in September Dawn, the controversial movie about a radical religious attack on innocent travelers, Best Actor Oscar-winning Jon Voight is among Hollywood's most in demand—and bankable—actors. Jon Voight: Of course, Midnight Cowboy is the role that catapulted me into the public eye and I was very proud of the work and the film. Box Office Mojo: When you were nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award [for his portrayal of Joe Buck] and Midnight Cowboy won Best Picture at the Oscars, did you feel underpaid?
Jon Voight in Midnight CowboyBox Office Mojo: In that sense you knew it was profitable for your career?
Jon Voight: Initially, people couldn't figure out what to do with me because I was maybe, to some degree, physically classic leading man [material]. Box Office Mojo: Your early roles are almost uniformly counterculture characters, though, as you say, you had this leading man look. Box Office Mojo: You went from age six to senior year in college without a sense of identity? Jon Voight: I played Count Pepi Le Loup, a comedy part, in Song of Norway, a beautiful musical. Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight in Midnight CowboyBox Office Mojo: What is the most underrated aspect of Midnight Cowboy? Jon Voight: A fella named Kiel Martin (Hill Street Blues) who has since passed away and another fella I can't remember. Box Office Mojo: Another one of your early roles was playing a corrupt Army soldier in Catch-22, Mike Nichols' adaptation of the Joseph Heller satirical novel about World War 2—?
Box Office Mojo: In the audio commentary, Mike Nichols says he can't remember how he cast you, but that he thought it was because of Dustin Hoffman—with whom he had worked on The Graduate—and the implication is that he had seen you together in Midnight Cowboy. Box Office Mojo: Your character really makes an impression without getting a lot of screen time—? Jon Voight: A guy like Cary Grant—he has this touch, and I have a little of that in me, too. Jon Voight in Catch-22Box Office Mojo: Milo in Catch-22 is an American military figure who becomes a fascist—?
Jon Voight:—He was this crazy profiteer and certainly there are those people and that's who he was but that's not the main body of our [armed] forces. Jon Voight: I was up for an Academy Award for that [performance] and, if it wasn't [distributed by] Cannon, it probably would have had a wider release. Box Office Mojo: You've created some compelling characters in big budget movies, such as Transformers and National Treasure. Box Office Mojo: How did you find working with Helen Mirren on National Treasure: Book of Secrets? Jon Voight: She plays my ex-wife and I haven't seen her in a long time—and she's an expert in interpreting a certain ancient language. Jon Voight, Nicolas Cage and Diane Kruger in National Treasure: The Book of SecretsBox Office Mojo: What's the sequel's premise?
Jon Voight: I certainly hope so—she knows I'm rooting for her and always wishing her the best. Jon Voight: I'd love to do another Michael Mann movie—I did Ali and Heat—but I'm very fortunate to have worked with the directors I have. Box Office Mojo: Did you enjoy working with Pride and Glory writer and director Gavin O'Connor? Box Office Mojo: You also played a principal in BRATZ, which didn't do well at the box office. Jon Voight: I think that film is very charming and my goddaughter, Skyler Shaye, plays one of the girls. James Van Der Beek and Jon Voight in Varsity BluesBox Office Mojo: Which of your movies prompts the strongest response from fans?
Jon Voight: Just like she likes Conrack, she did a little movie, Life or Something Like It, that was not her most successful movie—a little comedy—and she's wonderful, delightful. Box Office Mojo: Had you read Frederick Forsyth's novel, The Odessa File, before starring in the movie version? Box Office Mojo: Peter in The Odessa File is a mainstream, traditional leading man role—was it your first role in a thriller? Jon Voight and Ricky Schroeder in The ChampBox Office Mojo: Have you stayed in touch with your co-star in The Champ, Rick Schroeder? Jon Voight: Faye and I did A Streetcar Named Desire down at the Ahmanson [Theatre in Los Angeles]. Sometimes good television doesn't depend on money, it depends on imagination and good people directing, casting and doing the job with talented people. Why is it the songs all end with the good people winning, but in life they don't?" They don't make songs when the good lose," I muttered. This lunge at moral fastidiousness was something she'd noticed a lot in people around here. I have known some quite good people who were unhappy, but never an interested person who was unhappy. Good people protect people they love even if that means that pretending that everything is okay. I had always assumed the weekend was a holy tradition, respected by good people everywhere. If there is one thing that has helped me as a coach, it's my ability to recognize winners, or good people who can become winners by paying the price. We will keep a commitment to pluralism and not discriminate for or against Methodist or Mormons or Muslims or good people with no faith at all. If a European guy came to Africa and said hey guys, you don't have good - people could tell him to go to hell. If the good people in their wisdom shall see fit to keep me in the background, I have been too familiar with disappointments to bevery much chagrined.
We need to believe that we're good people, and we'll do just about anything to maintain that perception. Part of the reason I wrote the book was I wanted to understand for myself why such good people let themselves get treated so badly. At times it seems as if you're a glorified babysitter with these guys, but they're all really good people. Statistics and numbers are no good unless you have good people to analyse and then interpret their meaning and importance. There's a lot of noise about me that stops a lot of people from listening, but the good side is if you expose yourself like that, you're left with only good people who can see through you-you get rid of all the wankers. In a free society, it is hard for 'good' people to do 'good', but that is a small price to pay for making it hard for 'evil' people to do 'evil', especially since one man's good is another's evil Milton Friedman. The thing I've learned in life is that basically good people can do some really horrific things, and basically bad people can do some really good things. You have to care about how good you are and how good you feel, but not about how good people think you are or how good people think you look. Losing honour or losing everything, it is all the same thing in the realm of the good people. Isn"t it amazing how much good people can do for each other when you give them the opportunity to help? It's cool because you get to see that some of these women are there because they should be. We're (also) looking for a good people person who is able to motivate others and get strong performances out of people. If you're surrounded by good people and you're really honest with yourself, you'll be delivered. I guess sacrifice inspires my vulnerability, sacrifice and just having good people around me. It just so happens that when I was, like, 19 or 20, I got a couple of auditions and got a couple parts with good people. I'd read a lot of thrillers about politicians and presidents, but never one where you flip the stereotypes and make good people bad and bad people good. If you look in real life, it is very hard to describe people as good people, bad people, heroes or villains. I think most non-Christians who try to be good people are probably better Christians than Christians. Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws. You know no one ever accomplishes something like this without a lot of help from good people along the way. I want to go working with good people on something that's good, because otherwise it's a big waste of time. Or, a graphical reminder of the five essential elements and 7 implicit elements of a marketable log line.

At some point I'll post a full explanation of what's on these two designs, although if you've read my book or attended a workshop I think you already know and you just need a reminder everytime you grab your drink. Mostly, however, August is regulated as a pre-dumping ground of movies studios once had hopes of being successful only to see them assigned a dreaded August release date.
Given that ParaNorman is set in the fall, its summer-timed release is peculiar but not out of the ordinary. Internationally, the film has surpassed the numbers set by TDK (by $50M and still growing!). He's told that the position is his until he's dead or if "The Boss" can find somebody better.
Up this week is 1987 - a phenomenal year for games, including The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Contra, Castlevania, Mega Man, Double Dragon, and so much more.
Jackson serves as the villain, Valentine, a billionaire with a weak stomach for blood and a comical lisp as he channels Russell Simmons, and beside him is his henchman (or henchwoman in this case), Gazelle (Sofia Boutella), an amputee with blades for legs. In comparison to his past features,Kingsman is probably his most tonally succinct film since Layer Cake.
Vaughn attempted to ratchet this film up to such extremes that the CGI elements of some of the fight sequences look quite sloppy. Voight kindly invited Box Office Mojo to his Hollywood home for an in-depth discussion of his distinguished accomplishments in the motion picture arts. With the upcoming Pride and Glory starring Edward Norton and his avid interest in playing a wide variety of parts—Mr. Of course, I spent the $14,000 by the time the film was over—I bought a couple of ties and a shirt. On the other hand, I had this other kind of talent; I was a character actor, like [Dustin Hoffman]—so I didn't quite fit in some of the roles that were offered. When Dusty and I talked about [playing] Joe Buck and Ratso Rizzo, we talked about them like they were [the comedy team Stan] Laurel and [Oliver] Hardy in a certain sense; that there was a comic play between these two guys and, indeed, when you look at the piece, there's a lot of laughter and good comedy in the relationship. I knew that the loneliness of the character was essentially the base of the character—that he didn't find himself comfortable or accepted anywhere, so he was trying, and this swagger was a mask, essentially.
There's a scene where Marty Balsam and I are talking and I have this long speech and there's this plane coming in, tipping and weaving, doing a very dangerous kind of ballet, almost hitting its wings on the runway. Perhaps I could have done that kind of thing—or a Jimmy Stewart—if I had worked for [Frank] Capra. But, I'll tell you, I initially wasn't very happy with End of the Game, with Martin Ritt and Maria Schell. I read your review of it—you call it bombastic—but when I look at the CGI in that picture, I'm absolutely amazed. How do you avoid being consumed by the spectacle and achieve a distinctive, supporting performance in these huge movies? I'm stricken because he seems to have a page from the [President Abraham Lincoln assassin John Wilkes] Booth diary—and the movie's based on the ten missing pages of the Booth diary, which is true. I've done a movie we haven't talked about called Pride and Glory with Edward Norton and Colin Farrell and a wonderful ensemble of New York actors and actresses. I'm working with all the hot guys right now and they're terrific and I'm enjoying working with them.
If I walk through an area with a lot of Chicano guys, they'll all call out: "Anaconda!" When I went to Mozambique [Africa] to do Ali, everyone knew Anaconda. He's had some influence and we see that he has a family with two sons—with whom he has a very strong relationship—and it turns out that he meets this group of Christian people coming through on a wagon train and it is revealed quite quickly that he has a great deal of rage against the people who expelled the Mormons from Missouri and Illinois. He had done a film [Far From the Madding Crowd, adapted from Thomas Hardy's novel] with John Schlesinger—with Julie Christie and Alan Bates—right before I did Midnight Cowboy so I was aware of him. We know the Muslim Brotherhood is dedicated to Nazi principles; they have an allegiance to the Nazis. He took all the elements and made it his and I think he took a cue from some of the stuff I had shifted into place.
And when good people stand by and do nothing while wickedness reigns, their communities will be consumed.
I happened to get some really good parts to play with some really good people to play with.
A good idea is often destroyed by bad people and good people can always make a bad idea better. I want the opportunity to work with good people, and the only way I'm gonna do that is to commit 110% - you get out what you put in. You have to jump over that fence, but I always felt very comfortable (in my jobs) because I worked with some good people. You know, talent will carry you for so far but the values of the people around that should make the difference.
There are still a lot of good people in it, but the character of the industry and the culture of the industry is very fast. But when you got good people around you they remind you that failure is actually just a lesson. A lot of head coaches are intimidated by their assistant coaches, they'd rather get people that are far less talented than them because it's not threatening. Unfortunately, you can"t do that so you hope that good people in the world have them to protect the people who can"t protect themselves, Mark Wahlberg. Of the thousands of auditions where you don't get the part, I've done a couple of jobs where you do it and you're like, "Okay, this is good." Paul Dano. As long as you can stand up on the merits of what you're doing right at that moment and aren't just relying on your success in doing something else, it's all good; people will respect you. Or the construction of the moral-physical premise that describes how each character must arc.
The original film was marketed on its hook of AARP-aged action stars, along with a few more in the mid-to-late forties.
Methinks it was either on account of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s screen presence in The Dark Knight Rises or wanting to get a two-for-one deal in advertising its upcoming sci-fi release Looper, also starring JGL. Dax Shepard, in no way leading man material, at least got his money’s worth, and so did the studio. It was an impressive year for movies as well, with RoboCop, Predator, and The Princess Bride all made their debut. Be sure to check back next week for an in-depth look at 1988, the year of Metal Gear, Die Hard, and The Killing Joke. While Firth is unlikely action star, I got the impression he didn’t do many of his own stunts and even then it felt like a lot of CGI was used to pull off a lot of what took place here, much in the way the Wachowskis used CGI for Neo in Matrix Reloaded.
In as much Layer Cake was pretty much a straight forward gangster tale, Kingsman is a straight forward, violent romp.
That said, there’s a melee in a church that will likely be remembered as one of the more adrenaline-fueled scenes of the year. Layer Cake remains his best film to date and ever since he’s turned into more of a cartoonish, comic book filmmaker with Stardust, Kick Ass, X-Men and now this. The star of Midnight Cowboy, Coming Home and The Champ—who is also the father of actress Angelina Jolie—talked about his livelihood, his politics and how he became an actor.
Voight has portrayed a prostitute, a pope and an American president—for both independent and spectacle-scale movies, the 68-year-old artist is heading toward his sixth decade of making movies.
Dusty [co-star Dustin Hoffman] was quite extraordinary in that role—and, yet, when you say profitable, I made $14,000 for that film.
I had asked for a small percentage [of profits], which they didn't offer me, but I was happy to have done it.
There was more depth to it, of course, and it was complex stuff we were dealing with, but my love has been for the character work since I was a young fella. I know my adolescent favorites were The Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn and stuff like that.
Everybody got their due—the actors, the director, Waldo Salt, the screenwriter, Adam Holender, this young Polish cinematographer, who added something very exciting about the way it was shot. Mike Nichols was making a joke to John Calley about meeting Orson Welles and how they were up until three o'clock in the morning when Orson Welles finally said, "…and then I was four…" In other words, he was telling his life story.
But then again, I would have probably wanted to push the envelope to do different kinds of characters. With Runaway Train, which was not a box office success, you earned renewed critical praise. If something is partially carved, and they come to me with it, I sometimes help [develop] the role a little bit. I've bumped into her over the years and said complimentary things and she just won the Oscar [for her title role in The Queen]. I read Atlas Shrugged and it's really interesting and I think it can be done in an appealing way.
I haven't seen it but I've heard it's terrific and I sense that it's going to be very gritty, complex and powerful. People wrote it off as something less than wholesome because of the dolls [on which the movie is based]—and it isn't. Michael Bay has his own genius—he's a great shooter with a great imagination and sense of humor. I was very close to the [Vietnam War veterans] at that time and I wanted to represent veterans. I was kind of an abrasive, roughneck character and she was so shocked that I was such a beast.
About six months ago, I had a call from a fella named Nick Dawson from Scotland—a very nice young man—who's interested in film and specifically in Hal Ashby and he says he wants to talk about Hal Ashby.
One of the biggest things is to keep the lines of communication open and just to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. The audience got their fix then, so the sequel offered more of the same with a few added accessories. The decision to release it in August probably had to do with Disney positioning Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie for October. The two big releases on the independent front were Samsara, the follow-up documentary to 1992’s Baraka from Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson, and Sleepwalk with Me.
Of course, I have to mention at the outset, the completely unnecessary anal sex joke at the end of the film, which actually betrays the character and the kind of movie this is, but I guess director and co-writer Matthew Vaughn felt he needed at least one bit of adolescent potty humor of which the rest of the film manages to avoid.
Don’t go looking for social commentary or pretending Vaughn is saying anything more than Hey, watch this head explode!
The whole time I was thinking how much better it might have been to have someone like Jack O’Connell or even John Boyega in such a role.
In 2004 I would have loved to see Vaughn move to Bond, but 11 years later it seems he’s probably best suited for these types of films, sort of the latest iteration of Luc Besson. Maybe it comes from the fact that I initially thought of myself as an artist, as a painter, when I was three years old.
But my dad loved great acting and he recommended Spencer Tracy and John Barrymore and we saw [Humphrey] Bogart, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. I felt that if I didn't do the role, it probably wouldn't have come alive like I thought it should.
Midnight Cowboy was a good part for me because I do my character work and then I could do the stuff with Dusty—very good light comedy. Voight's daughter, actress] Angelina [Jolie] loved Conrack; it was her favorite [Jon Voight movie] and that was closer to me. The relationship to the surroundings, even the environment of the filming, has to be taken into consideration—you have to use everything. The thing about Helen is that she really has her feet on the ground—there's just no guile and she's smart and she's just who she is—delightful and a great sense of humor.

It's the story of a family of policemen—I don't want to give it away—and the temptation for corruption that exists in police work. There's a certain kind of acting and energy that I haven't been part of in a while—because they don't make those kinds of films anymore, almost like a Seventies film yet it has a classic structure.
Like with Bratz, it should have been successful but it wasn't because it was based on something that was perceived as unwholesome which is a big problem.
I have my Anaconda days, I have The Champ days, I have The Odessa File days, I have a lot of Midnight Cowboy days—and then I have a couple of movies I've done for television that I'm very proud of—a series of films I did for Showtime—The Fixer, Convict Cowboy and Jasper, Texas. When you do a character piece, it's like coming off the bench in a big game—you come off with a specialty, you're not pacing yourself for the full game, you're going in there to do a job and sometimes the character actor gives a vivid performance because you don't have time—the film is not going to help establish moments because the story doesn't have time. You can see how he builds his antagonism toward the wagon train and that he's able to put all of this influence toward this moment when they will murder these people. There are many sides and there is that sorrowful side [depicted in the movie]—which is real—but if I were to do that movie today I would perhaps speak about the aspect of liberating nations.
He came to the States and asked if he could bring Hal Ashby's daughter—and there was this whole thing where she had been [unsuccessfully] pursuing [Hal Ashby about being his daughter]. But I have to say that when Hal Ashby did a film, when he cut it, it was magic—it's really like talking to Hal.
This year, August has been totally weak, as the July release of The Dark Knight Rises continued its success way into August, only to be unseated by The Bourne Legacy and The Expendables 2. As for Timothy Green, Disney had been pushing its release for more than a year now, and little of its marketing has changed since the first trailer campaign commenced. It had already done well on less than 200 screens, but the expansion gave it a sizable boost in business.
Publicity for comedian-turned-playwright-turned-filmmaker Mike Birbiglia’s comedy has picked up in recent weeks with Avengers director, Joss Whedon, posting a message where he fears the success of Sleepwalk believing it could take screens away from The Avengers, thus hurting its bottom line. Even exploding heads go poof with mini hydrogen bomb explosions as this movie is doing everything but taking itself seriously. Nothing wrong with that, I like Besson, he makes (and produces) fun, campy films, but I don’t expect him to ever make anything as great as The Professional ever again. I was very happy until I was four, when I saw movies with my dad and my two brothers and realized that my two-dimensional art was obsolete in a sense because this form—this media—was so amazing. Everything was taken care of—the producer Jerry Hellman kept everything away from the set, so we never felt any friction from the outside and we had the time to do it. I thought I had the inside [track] on [getting] the part and, in fact, looking back, I did. Then it goes past us and then they had set up the shot where you seen the damaged plane that was already in view—you see that the plane had crashed.
Kennedy], whom we believed in so deeply, this great young man of Camelot—and it was dashed by an assassin's bullet. Then I did two pieces that were really high level: Pope John Paul II, there's something very special about that for me—a very successful film—and then I did The Five People You Meet in Heaven. You see it happen—it's inevitable and you cannot stop this thing from happening and, as you go forward, you learn about what this man is carrying inside him in terms of his own lack of self-esteem, his loyalty and love for the prophet who obviously gave him some status in this community and he's a very conflicted character.
I know Hal had many ghosts, a most difficult time, and his dad had committed suicide when he was 12 years old and the family from that time was traumatized and he was never quite able to get over that. Though, it has gotten some reactions that in and of itself is either good or bad viral marketing to sell the film. I had this book of reviews by Kenneth Tynan and I had earmarked all the places where he had reviewed Laurence Olivier. If [director] John [Schlesinger] didn't get it right on a day's shooting, he would return and revisit. I have great admiration for the guys who could pull that other thing off which is what they did in the Thirties and Forties. The stories that I choose are varied but the stories always have some kind of impact—usually an emotional impact and a beginning, middle and an end. While a third Expendables is all but assured, the foreign grosses and home video sales will probably be the biggest determinant if The Expendables 3 gets labeled with the dreaded 3D.
I really did retire, something in my heart retired, and I felt this great sadness, it wasn't my real love anymore.
I used to look at the way Olivier had composed these pieces and a lot was written about that—how there was a beginning and an end to the way he approached [a role], that the gesture he showed in the beginning was going to pay off in the end and all these very extraordinary things he did physically to complete the roles. I was in competition with three other fellas, and finally it came down to two—myself and Michael Sarrazin—and he had just done a movie with George C. I was praying with every pore of my body, trying to focus and do this thing right and we did—we did it.
I saw that they hadn't constructed the ending yet and I saw that my character was the answer to give the piece some depth. John Schlesinger was perhaps the greatest director for me because [playing Joe Buck in Midnight Cowboy] was an actor's performance that was required to carry the film—there were no tricks to that. Stories that are saying something, something relevant to this specific hour of our history. I didn't get this sense of an identity with work [again] until I'd finally made a decision after the last year of college to become an actor. I was very observant of his charting the course through [William] Shakespeare's great tragic characters. Scott called The Flim-Flam Man and they made the decision to go with the more commercial fella. When you look at Cary Grant's career, up to a certain point, he was full of potential but he wasn't really Cary Grant [yet].
I think that was my love; Olivier was this great actor who changed himself and became these guys. Then, he discovers this guy—and he discovered it by doing a dark film—this kind of smooth, very suave character. We were traumatized in the Sixties and all of that behavior—the dancing in circles, the smoking pot and saying "all we need is love"—it was because we couldn't identify evil; we couldn't believe in evil—we didn't want to believe in evil so we just hid from it. So with very little, almost no real preparation, I worked with [National Treasure director] Jon Turteltaub—who's a delight, such a smart, fun, caring person—and he let me play.
I love working on the psychological stuff and trying to work it into a shape and play with it and improvise. His daughter, Lee MacManus, came and she was great and we talked and it was a happy event—I told her all about her dad.
In grammar school, my class wrote a musical and asked me to do the lead and I was very successful in it. Then, she said her favorite movie was Lookin' to Get Out because she figured she was the little girl in the movie, the character that was played by Angie, my daughter. In high school, after designing sets for two years, in my junior year, they asked me to be in a play and, once again, I was hugely successful. If things didn't go my way, I'd say, "well, that's not meant to be." Sometimes, I would be offered a role and I would recommend somebody else—I was that kind of person.
He said later on "I'm not really Cary Grant," which sounds like a funny thing to say but it really means that Cary Grant was a character that he discovered and he was quite a magnificent character and he could do all sorts of things with that character. Some of it—let everybody do their thing and all that stuff—was OK in terms of getting to the truth of things and that was a nice energy. We did this one scene where they come to my house, and we haven't seen each other in a long time and Nicolas Cage [who plays his son] and I have this little edge between us, and we were feeling each other out—not agreeing with one another—and it all actually worked for the scene. She felt that was a little something for her—and when I look at the story, I say, of course; a father doesn't see his daughter and is deeply moved when he meets her and he lets her go off on her own. When I went to college, I was going for stage design and, in my senior year, I decided after talking to many people I was going to try to be a serious actor. Yet this one stopped me because the thing I was excited about for this piece wasn't going to happen. But, really, overwhelmingly, it was a very bizarre, selfish and hedonistic philosophy that wasn't very helpful.
It made something complete for her and [helped her] deal with the loss of connection for her.
Then, once again, I felt this sense of identity that I knew who I was—I was very comfortable—I knew I wasn't going to quit.
Now Bogart was a great character but most of his work was around this one type—it was brilliant—it probably achieved its zenith with The Maltese Falcon, this kind of tough guy, this way of delivering things. It attacked the family—the attack on the family was very severe because not only was there this idea of [indiscriminate love] and that would solve the world's problems, which gave rise to teen pregnancy, but also this idea not to trust anyone over 30. Because of that energy between us, it created the characters in a sense, like my little thing when I come back from the fight, I'm cleaning up and I suggest that we have some food and you see how he lives a little and I'm happy to have my son in my house.
The way he moves the actors around the camera, whatever he does visually, is quite extraordinary. So I said, "where did you see the film?" and they had seen it at UCLA, a version left by Hal Ashby. Then I got a call from my agent saying, "Jon, it may not be over—they may be coming back to you." Apparently, they were looking at a screen test of Michael and, because Michael's people, whoever they were, decided to play games at that time with this deal, to raise the price that they had agreed to prior to the screen test and to push off the date, to wait for a film, Jerry Hellman, who was a very strong producer, didn't like that kind of nonsense. This was from people who were over 30 and bombed out of their minds with every kind of drug they could put into their system. He told me before we began the film, "Jon, I'll tell you what I'm good at—whatever we find, I'll be able to get in front of the camera." He shaped those sequences so brilliantly, he smoothed the camera.
I was intrigued that he would have left a version because the version that he initially did was the best version. Then there was the romanticization of the drugs—there were people coming out with [pseudo] scientific evidence that [drugs] increase your enlightenment—it was devastating. In rehearsal, he was totally the opposite of John Schlesinger, who would have stayed there for four hours trying to figure out what to do, but there would be so much depth in what he finally decided. Then we had to take 15 minutes out of it because [production company] Lorimar or the studio wanted 15 minutes out of it and it really ruined the film.
Today, I find that people look back at that time in a romantic way and that's as dangerous as anything is. It was fun to play with Nic—he's completely original, and it will enrich the sequence, if you can all work together.
Hal Ashby—who was the quietest person on a set—was a watcher who was so sensitive to the actor. Then I heard from [writer] Al Schwartz that Hal had said mysterious things to him before he died, about how Lookin' to Get Out was a much better movie than anyone knew.
I think between these comments, that's what tipped the balance and then John came forward so I was very fortunate. You were free to do your best—and it's almost like he was on the set as a witness for all the good you do and none of the negative, so I felt totally nurtured.
That's a version no one had ever seen—and Nick said [Hal Ashby] had made a cut in the years in between and showed it only to Charles Chaplin and somebody else so I said "let's go see it!" We go down to UCLA and we watched the first reel.
He came from editing so he had a great understanding of what he needed visually from the editing aspect. I know every cut—I co-produced it and co-wrote it—and it's what we had written initially, before some embellishments took place that Hal wanted.
This [version] is twice as good—it is what it's supposed to be—there's a whole lot of stuff that's never been seen and it's put together in such a way that releases it all. David Source: Social Security Administration What Mattered To You Which Pop Culture event from 1986 had the biggest impact on your life?

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