- For the scenes in London, poilce would close the roads at 4am and filming would begin immediately. It would last for one hour, and at that time the police would reopen the roads. As well as having to deal with traffic, the producers also had to ask clubbers to find alternative routes home. In terms of the traffic, the producers correctly predicted that asking drivers to either wait for up to an hour or find another way might cause some considerable consternation. As such, they employed several extremely attractive young women (one of whom was Danny Boyle's daughter) to make the necessary requests. This plan had the desired results, as the drivers responded quite amicably to the young girls.
- The tower block where Hannah and her father lived was condemned and has now been demolished.
- Horror novelist Stephen King bought out an entire showing of the film in New York City.
- The crew filed all of the necessary papers to destroy the petrol station in Canary Wharf, but the police were unintentionally not notified. When the explosives were detonated, police responded as if a petrol station had really exploded and sent fire brigades (although there was already one present). Danny Boyle finally resolved the matter after several hours.
- The angelic song that plays in the background, particularly during the car trip, is called "In Paradisum" by Gabriel Fauré.
- The scene where Jim and Selena celebrate with Frank and Hannah was shot on September 11. Danny Boyle has said it felt extremely strange to be shooting a celebratory scene on that particular day.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Cast: Vincent D’Onofrio, R. Lee Ermey, Matthew Modine, Arliss Howard & Adam Baldwin
A classic among Vietnam War movies, Full Metal Jacket begins with the new recruits for the Marines at Parris Island. Among the recruits are Pvt. Pyle, the overweight and slow-learning innocent and Pvt. Joker, a man who’s all about getting a laugh and is assigned to help Pyle. Sgt. Hartman trains his soldiers to love their guns more than they love sex, having them sleep with their rifles and pray for their future victories. He is a strict instructor who is determined to get Pyle into shape to join the infantry, eventually having the other recruits punished for Pyle’s mistakes. After Pyle is abused at night for his continuous failures, he kills Sgt. Hartman and shoots himself in the head.
The second half of the film depicts the war in Vietnam, as Pvt. Joker, who is now a reporter, follows Pvt. Cowboy’s squadron. In a bombed out village, a sniper is taking out Cowboy’s men one by one, and the men struggle to move out of their cornered location.
It’s easy to see even from my brief synopsis that the heart of the film really is in the first half. In fact, I haven’t read any reviews that prefer the second half, and even many analyses chose to simply drop the second half and focus on the recruits’ basic training. Pvt. Pyle is by far the most memorable character in the film, and the image of him in the restroom has become iconic for the film.
In these first scenes, Sgt. Hartman dehumanizes his recruits. They are constantly suffering verbal abuse, and any sense of their old selves must be lost to become killing machines. In fact, we never learn any of the recruits’ real names, only the names assigned to them by Hartman. He glorifies all Marines of the past, including Lee Harvey Oswald and the sniper at the University of Texas, Charles Whitman. These scenes are absolutely horrifying, giving the American army a more Nazi-like feel. However, after losing all character in themselves, the audience loses all its compassion for the protagonist of the second half of the film.
In my opinion, it’s just not necessary to watch the second half. The first half, however, is worth the viewing. I’m surprised to see that despite a nearly universal agreement on this, the film still received 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. I’ll give it one thumb up for the first half – the other thumb is still disappointed with the second half.
Fun Trivia (Stolen from IMDB):
- Former US Marine Corps Drill Instructor R. Lee Ermey was not originally hired to play Gunnery Sgt. Hartman but as a consultant for the Marine Corps boot camp portion of the film. He performed a demonstration on videotape in which he yelled obscene insults and abuse for 15 minutes without stopping, repeating himself or even flinching - despite being continuously pelted with tennis balls and oranges. Stanley Kubrick was so impressed that he cast Ermey as Gunnery Sgt. Hartmann.
- According to director John Boorman, Stanley Kubrick wanted to cast Bill McKinney in the role of Gunnery Sgt. Hartman. However, Kubrick was so unsettled after viewing McKinney's performance in Deliverance (1972) that he declined to meet with him, saying he was simply too frightened at the idea of being in McKinney's presence.
- 'Vincent D'Onofrio (I)' gained 70 pounds for his role as Pvt. Pyle, breaking Robert De Niro's movie weight-gain record (60 pounds) for Raging Bull (1980). It took him 7 months to put the weight on and 9 months to take it off with physical training.
- Art director Les Tomkins for a style that has been the inspiration for the following five Batman films
- Music composer Danny Elfman for an exciting and immediately recognizable theme
- Jack Nicholson for being The Man
- Sean Young was originally cast as Vicki Vale, but broke her collarbone while filming a horse-riding scene with Michael Keaton. The scene was subsequently written out of the script. Tim Burton suggested replacing Young with Michelle Pfeiffer but Keaton, who was in a relationship with Pfeiffer, believed it would be too awkward. She went on to portray Catwoman in Batman Returns (1992). Jon Peterssuggested Kim Basinger and she was cast.
- Alec Baldwin, Jeff Bridges, Emilio Estevez, Matthew Broderick, Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, Michael J. Fox, Harrison Ford, Robert Downey Jr., Kevin Spacey, Patrick Swayze, Dennis Quaid, Kurt Russell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Charlie Sheen, Bill Murray, Pierce Brosnan, Tom Selleck, Daniel Day-Lewis, Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis were considered for the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.
- Rosanna Arquette, Ellen Barkin, Robin Duke, Kate Capshaw, Glenn Close, Joan Cusack, Geena Davis, Judy Davis, Denny Dillon,Christine Ebersole, Mia Farrow, Carrie Fisher, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Teri Garr, Melanie Griffith, Linda Hamilton, Daryl Hannah,Goldie Hawn, Mariel Hemingway Barbara Hershey, Holly Hunter, Anjelica Huston, Amy Irving, Diane Keaton, Diane Lane, Kay Lenz,Jessica Lange, Lori Loughlin, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Virginia Madsen, Kelly McGillis, Bette Midler, Catherine O'Hara, Tatum O'Neal, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Molly Ringwald, Meg Ryan, Susan Sarandon, Jane Seymour, Cybill Shepherd, Brooke Shields, Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenburgen, Sharon Stone, Meryl Streep, Lea Thompson, Kathleen Turner, Sela Ward, Sigourney Weaver and Debra Winger were all considered for the role of Vicki Vale after Sean Young, the original choice, departed.
- Jack Nicholson received a percentage of the gross on the film, and due to its massive box-office took home around $60 million. As of 2003 it is still the single-movie record for actor's salary.
- The Batmobile was built on the chassis of a Chevy Impala.
- For its first video release, the film was graded slightly lighter as cinema audiences had complained that it was filmed so darkly that they could hardly see what was going on.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
- Due to its shoestring budget, the prop department had to use the cheapest mask that they could find in the costume store: a Captain Kirk (William Shatner) mask. They later spray-painted the face white, teased out the hair, and reshaped the eye holes.
- Tommy Doyle's name was from Rear Window (1954) and Sam Loomis' name is from Psycho (1960).
- Inside Laurie's bedroom there is a poster of a painting by James Ensor (1860-1949). Ensor was a Belgian expressionist painter who used to portray human figures wearing grotesque masks.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Director: Jason Reitman
Cast: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, J.K. Simmons, Allison Janney, Jason Bateman & Jennifer Garner
Juno is a junior in high school when she and her best friend Bleeker decided to have sex in an armchair. When she finds out that she’s pregnant, she first decides to “nip it in the bud”, but gets cold feet when she gets to the clinic. Instead, she finds a couple in the Pennysaver who are looking to adopt. The film chronicles Juno’s hardships at school, her relationship with Bleeker, and her correspondence with the surrogate parents.
There’s too many good things to say about this film, it’s hard to know where to start. In fact, I’m going to just make a list.
There isn’t a single character that isn’t extremely strong in personality. Each has their quirk, yet they’re all not only believable, but likable characters. Of course, the best example of this is Juno herself. Though Ellen Page is, in fact, a mirror image of Juno’s personality, she’s able to provide a depth to the character that nobody saw coming going into the film.
Even though there are disagreements throughout the film, not one of them ever does anything that isn’t to like, and the only mean-ness displayed is only a miscommunication. This people-friendly portrayal of the entire cast provides the audience with a strengthened faith in humanity, which is pretty darn cool if you ask me.
- Art Direction / Cinematography / Props
The film is rife with color and texture. Though my history is in music, I’ve always been a visual learner, and this film provides so many iconic images that not only give the film a unique feel, but also add to the personality of each of the characters. For example, Juno’s hamburger phone. Honestly, it was probably a $5 purchase at a dollar store, but it’s something that anyone who has seen this film will remember for a long time.
The majority of the soundtrack is performed by The Moldy Peaches, which was chosen thanks to a recommendation by Ellen Page. The songs are all sweet and childlike, which resonate with Juno’s carefree attitude. The soundtrack is loads of fun to listen to, and is right up there with Little Miss Sunshine when it comes to soundtracks that I’d like to purchase (if I ever purchased soundtracks).
The dialogue is probably what people will remember most from this film. On many instances I’ve heard that Juno can be called a study on the English language in the high school scene, and I can agree with that. The witty style of writing is all thanks to the Diablo Cody, ex-stripper and present-day author, screenwriter and journalist. You really can’t get a style to match it from somebody that hasn’t been a stripper.
I’d also like to include some quotes that make me laugh just about every time I see this film.Leah: Honest to blog?
Juno: The-the baby? I don’t really know much about it other than, I mean, it has fingernails, allegedly.
Bren: Nails, really?
Mac: No, I know I mean who’s the father, Juno?
Juno: Umm… it’s Paulie Bleeker.
Mac: Paulie Bleeker?
Mac: I didn’t think he had it in him.
Leah: I know, right?
As I said, this film shows a strong faith in the kindness of people. What compliments this is that the film in fact helps bring liberals and conservatives together. Though Juno is clearly a liberal, her change of heart at the abortion clinic demonstrates that not all liberals think of an abortion as an easy choice. This film is both liberal- and conservative-friendly, even while focusing on a sore topic in politics.
If you haven’t seen this film, get yourself out of that hole and do it. You won’t regret it. Two thumbs up.
Fun Trivia (Stolen from IMDB):
- At one point before Juno visits Mark, he is sitting at his computer reading Diablo Cody's (the movie's screenwriter) real-life blog, known as "The Pussy Ranch".
- Jennifer Garner dropped her A-list salary to a percentage point agreement for Juno when it was expected to be a small, low grossing indie film, but the decision paid off when Juno became a breakout smash at the box office - giving Garner her best payday yet.
- Director Jason Reitman mentions on the DVD audio commentary that several objects in Bleeker's room, including a Hebrew alphabet poster on his door, a framed Bar Mitzvah certificate on his wall, and a dreidel on his shelf, are supposed to indicate that Bleeker is Jewish.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
- The censors weren't too happy about the line in the song "Lonesome Polecat" where the brothers lament "A man can't sleep when he sleeps with sheep". By not showing any sheep in the same shot as the brothers, the film-makers were able to get away with it.
- Rehearsals for the barn-raising sequence took 3 weeks.
- For the brides costumes, designer Walter Plunkett went to the Salvation Army, found old quilts and turned them into dresses.
- Caleb says, "There was no 'F' names in the Bible, so Ma named him Frankincense, 'cause he smelled so sweet." However, there are in fact three "F" names in the Bible: Felix (referenced in Acts 24:27); Fes'tus (referenced in Acts 24:27, 25:1, 25:4, 25:9, 25:12, 25:13, 25:14, 25:22, 25:24, 26:24, 26:25, and 26:32); and Fortunatus (referenced in 1 Corinthians 16:17).
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Director: Terry Gilliam
Cast: Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe & Brad Pitt
Time travel movies always provide a good time, and Twelve Monkeys is no exception. Psychologists in 1990 aren’t sure what to make of the case of James Cole. He seems to be suffering from severe mental illness, claiming that he is from the future, and that five-billion people will die from a disease in 1997. But that’s not where the curiosity lies. James Cole vanished from his locked cell while strapped into his bed.
The storytelling in this film is wonderful. The nonlinearity isn’t a hindrance at all to the film. Despite jumping through time, it’s an easy plotline to trace. Unfortunately, 14 years after the making of this film, I feel like I’ve seen every twist a time travel film can provide, so it’s also pretty easy to see where the story is taking you. Thankfully, there’s one big twist at the end that I doubt anyone could have seen coming.
In my opinion, it’s not some amazing film that you can watch over and over again and catch something new every time. But, it’s a whole lot of fun, so I’ll give it a thumb and a half.
Fun Trivia (Stolen from IMDB):
- Terry Gilliam gave Bruce Willis a list of "Willis acting clichés" not to be used during the film, including the "steely blue eyes look".
- Terry Gilliam was afraid that Brad Pitt wouldn't be able to pull off the nervous, rapid speech. He sent him to a speech coach but in the end he just took away Pitt's cigarettes, and Pitt played the part exactly as Gilliam wanted.
- In the 24 hour Hitchcock Theater, Katheryn (Stowe) and James (Willis) are watching Vertigo (1958), then she transforms herself with a blonde wig and James saw her emerge within a red light. The scene perfectly match the scene where Kim Novak transforms herself as a blond and Scottie (Jimmy Stewart) saw her emerge within a green light. It can hear the same score written by Bernard Herrmann. Also Katherine wears the same coat as 'Kim Novak' wearing in the first part of Vertigo.
- Every mistake that Sol, Vincent and Tyrone make were inspired by various late-night TV shows about real-life crimes gone horribly wrong.
- When Guy Ritchie told Brad Pitt that he would be playing a boxer, Pitt became concerned because he had just finished shooting Fight Club(1999) and did not want to play the same type of role again. Pitt book the role anyway because he wanted to work with Ritchie so badly.
- During the opening credits, the Hasidic-clad diamond thieves are discussing the Virgin Mary. This is a reference to Reservoir Dogs (1992), where during the opening scene the thieves are discussing the Madonna song "Like a Virgin".
- According to the DVD commentary, Bow, the dog was very difficult to work with. During car scene with Vincent, Sol and Tyrone, the dog was actually attacking Lennie James, and James was actually bitten in the crotch by the dog but didn't suffer any serious injury. The dog was replaced after that incident.
- Brad Pitt's character and indecipherable speech was inspired by many critics' complaints about the accents of the characters in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998). Guy Ritchie decided to counter the criticisms by creating a character that not only couldn't be understood by the audience but the also couldn't be understood by characters in the movie.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Director: Michael Cimino
Cast: Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Savage & Meryl Streep
Considered one of the quintessential Vietnam films in the industry, The Deer Hunter depicts the lives of three men from western Pennsylvania and how the war affected their lives. The film is told in three clear acts.
The first act shows the lives of the three men just a day before they leave for Vietnam. It’s the wedding day for Steven, whose fiancée is just showing signs of pregnancy, though the groom had saved himself for the wedding day. The men and their friends decide to go hunting on the same day. Michael, the clear leader of the group, has a discussion with Nick on how important it is to kill deer with just one shot.
The second act is entirely placed in Vietnam. In a disturbing scene, the three friends are shown to have become POWs, caged in waste-deep water, only to be brought out when it’s their turn to be placed against each other in a game of Russian roulette. Upon their escape, they soon become separated from each other. Michael doesn’t know what’s happened to Nick, and Steven is severely traumatized by the events that passed while imprisoned.
The third act depicts Michael’s return to his hometown. The return is celebrated by the townspeople, but Michael is a changed man. When he goes hunting once again with his friends, his mentality of the sport has undergone a radical change. Just as it appears he might be able to settle into his renewed lifestyle, he discovers that Nick is alive and still in Vietnam. He remembers a promise he made to never leave Nick behind, and makes his trip back across the world to bring Nick home.
The acting in this film is really fantastic. There isn’t very much dialogue, though each character’s personality shines through with apparent ease. The acting hadn’t gone unnoticed, leading to an Oscar win for Walken and nominations for Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep (her first nod – and her second film).
The most interesting thing about the film is its ambiguous stance on the war. Cimino never declares himself as pro- or anti-war in this film, but simply remarks on how it influences the individual people, including both those who served in the war and those left behind. The thing that isn’t left ambiguous is Cimino’s prioritization of personal relationships over politics.
The Russian roulette scene is certainly the one which will stick in most peoples’ minds, though it’s become a bit of a cliché. Aside from that, and the films extraordinary length (three hours), this is a great watch, and a must-see for anyone interested in war movies.
Fun Trivia (Stolen from IMDB):
- Director Michael Cimino convinced Christopher Walken to spit in Michael's face. When Walken actually did it, Robert De Niro was completely surprised by it, as evidence by his reaction. In fact, De Niro was so furious about it he nearly left the set. Cimino later said of Walken: "He's got courage!"
- Meryl Streep improvised many of her lines.
- During some of the Russian Roulette scenes, a live round was put into the gun to heighten the actors' tension. This was Robert De Niro's suggestion. It was checked, however, to make sure the bullet was not in the chamber before the trigger was pulled.
- The slapping in the Russian roulette sequences was 100% authentic. The actors grew very agitated by the constant slapping, which, naturally, added to the realism of the scenes.
- The scene where Savage is yelling, "Michael, there's rats in here, Michael" as he is stuck in the river is actually Savage yelling at the director Michael Cimino because of his fear of rats which were infesting the river area. He was yelling for the director to pull him out of the water because of the rats... it looked real and they kept it in.
Director: Alex Proyas
Cast: Brandon Lee, Rochelle Davis & Ernie Hudson
On the night before Halloween, Eric Draven (…get it?) and his fiancée Shelly are attacked by gangsters. After throwing Eric out the window to his death, the gangsters rape and kill Shelly. But, as everyone who has seen Casper knows, anyone with unfinished business can come back from the dead to wrap things up.
I was originally going to give this a pretty scathing review. And it’s still not going to be a good one, but my reading up on the film pushed me to be a bit kinder.
A bit of trivia that most people know by now is that Brandon Lee (Bruce Lee’s son) was killed on set when one of the prop guns was mistakenly loaded with a real bullet. When I first finished the film, I was prepared to write that this fact has brought the film a bit more credit than it’s due. And I still do think that it did certainly help give it a boost. But there’s more to it than that.
The reason I was so critical was because this film is severely dated. The theme is not at all a new one any more. The style is similar to loads of other films based on comic books/graphic novels. The soundtrack is also a tad dated (Ebert wrote that it’s entirely ‘hard rock’… which I guess must have softened over time).
But here’s the thing. It really was extremely innovated at the time of its creation. I had three films come to mind while watching this film: The Dark Knight, Kill Bill, and Casper. Aside from the Casper thing, those films are GREAT films to be compared to considering it was made 10 years before the release of Kill Bill, and 15 years before The Dark Knight (and for anyone keeping count, one year before Casper).
So, Mr. Proyas, I apologize for my rush to criticize your film. I have two different “thumb” scores to give it. As a viewer who is trying to imagine seeing the film in 1994: two big thumbs up. As a viewer today: one thumb down.
Fun Trivia (Stolen from IMDB):
- Cameron Diaz was offered the role of Shelly, but turned it down because she didn't like the script.
- According to the biography of Bruce Lee, Brandon Lee's death was predicted by his father Bruce Lee after awaking from his coma. His death was foreseen before Brandon even considered taking up acting as a career.
- One of the crows used in this film, Magic, was used in all of the following movies.
- During the boardroom shootout, Draven rolls onto his back to kick a shooter through a window, then nips back up to his feet in one movement: a similar move to one performed in Enter the Dragon (1973) - which, coincidentally, was his father Bruce Lee's last film before an untimely death.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Director: Terry Gilliam
Cast: Johnny Depp & Benecio Del Toro
Sports journalist Raoul Duke and his lawyer Dr. Gonzo are on a trip. Pun intended. They’re on a business trip, heading to Las Vegas for the Mint 400, while they are completely wasted on hallucinogens. That’s really all you need to know about this film’s plot.
Johnny Depp’s performance as Duke is remarkably similar to his performance as Captain Jack Sparrow, sans dreads and a boat. Comparing the two, I prefer this much more. His movements are nearly identical in many scenes, which I think supports my views of him. He peaked in his performances just as he became a superstar, and since then has gone downhill, reusing earlier lesser-known works to keep himself a float. I am honestly interested in hearing other opinions on this. Also, I’m so sick of him pretending to be British. He’s a good actor as an American, too…
Many of the reviews I’ve read on the film mention how the film captures the essence of the drug-inducing society of the 1970’s, and how they came to be. Starting with a sequence of footage from Vietnam and protestors against Nixon’s warmongering, as well as a sequence from the 60’s, it shows that the hopeful youth of the previous decade has disappeared. Once the mid-70s hit, it was all about escapism.
I’m not so sure that the film hit home on this front. I think that the film did a great job of visualizing the highs and lows of a crazy drug trip in Vegas, but that’s just about it. The film doesn’t have any structure, and understandably so; how could it have structure when filmed as if the audience is partaking in the drugs? The attempt made to reason out the drug craze of the 70’s was lost on me.
I’m hesitant to give this film thumbs at all. I’m pretty much in agreement with Rotten Tomatoes on this one: 48%.
Fun Trivia (Stolen from IMDB):
- Hunter S. Thompson himself shaved Johnny Depp's head. They were in Thompson's kitchen, Depp refused to look in a mirror, and Thompson wore a miner's hard hat.
- During the early stages during the initial development hell to get the film made, Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando were originally considered for the roles of Duke and Gonzo, and Nicholson was attached, but he, and Brando, both grew too old. Afterward, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi were considered for the duo, but that fell apart when Belushi died. John Malkovich was later considered for the role of Duke, but he too grew too old. At one point John Cusack was almost cast, but then Hunter S. Thompson met Johnny Depp, and was convinced no one else could play him. Cusack had previously directed the play version of "Fear and Loathing", with his brother playing Duke.
- According to Johnny Depp, the gorilla statue outside the Bazooko Circus, now "lives" in his front yard.
- According to Terry Gilliam's commentary on the Criterion DVD, in the scene where Raoul and Gonzo raise havoc at the Debbie Reynolds concert, the voice heard in that scene that is supposed to be Reynolds singing actually IS Reynolds. Gilliam is friends with Carrie Fisher, Reynolds' daughter, who spoke to her mother about recording a couple lines for the movie, and Reynolds agreed.
- The word "fuck" and its derivatives are uttered 138 times.
- The word "shit" and its derivatives are uttered 50 times.
- The character of Blake was not in the original play. When adapting his play for the screen, David Mamet created that role specifically for actor Alec Baldwin.
- Co-star Jack Lemmon said the cast was the greatest acting ensemble he had ever been part of.
- During the production, the actors referred to this film as "Death of a Fuckin' Salesman".
- As of 2008, the cast includes four actors (Alan Arkin, Jack Lemmon, Kevin Spacey and Al Pacino) who have won Academy Awards and two others (Alec Baldwin and Ed Harris) who have been nominated for Academy Awards.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
- Honeydukes "is floor-to-ceiling psychedelia" and includes Mexican skulls made of sugar. The cast was told that the Honeydukes candy was lacquer-coated, when in fact it wasn't, to prevent candy from disappearing between takes.
- The tattoos on Sirius Black's body and hands are borrowed from Russian prison gangs. They are markings which identify the person as a man to be feared and respected.
- Alfonso Cuarón coached Daniel Radcliffe in one scene where the latter had to act awed: "Pretend you're seeing Cameron Diaz in a G-string". It worked.
- The film contains several commemorations to director Alfonso Cuarón and his Mexican heritage. On the fountain in the courtyard in front of the clock tower, there are several statues of eagles eating snakes. This exact image appears on the Mexican flag. Also, among the many candies offered at Honeydukes are skulls made of sugar, which are a popular treat in Mexico on "El Dia de los Muertos," or the Day of the Dead. And, after Dumbledore says his final lines outside the infirmary, he goes down the stairs humming "La Raspa", the Mexican Hat Dance.
- When Harry, Hermione and Ron are returning to the school from Hagrid's hut after witnessing Buckbeak's execution, Hermione hugs Ron and Harry hugs Hermione, a reference to Alfonso Cuarón's movie Y tu mamá también (2001).
- Melville was obsessed with men's costuming. While he was completely one-sided on his opinion that all men wearing a gun also need to wear a hat, he didn't care at all what women wore.
- Though the novel was full of underworld slang, Melville decided not to use any in his film.
- In response to accusations that the film is mysogynistic, Melville wrote that the critics are "totally false. the women in my film aren't as ordinary as they seem."
- "Le Doulos" (pronounced doo-LOHS, where the S is pronounced) can be translated as somebody who wears a fedora-like hat called a "doule". Originally, this was what policemen wore, but soon gangster's took on the style as well.
Friday, September 11, 2009
- Emile Hirsch lost 40 pounds to play his role.
- Shot entirely on location.
- No stunt-men or doubles were used for Emile Hirsch, including the scenes where Chris goes through river rapids, confronts a grizzly bear or rock-climbs.
- The role of Jim Gallien, the Alaskan who gave Chris the rubber boots in the opening scene, is played by the real Jim Gallien.
- The watch Emile Hirsch wears in the movie is Christopher Johnson McCandless' real life watch, given to him as a present.
- According to the DVD behind the scenes, the moose that is shot and killed by Christopher was actually roadkill found on the Alaskan highway.