Matt Damon

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Posted by bender 03/06/2009 @ 17:11

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We Hear: Matt Damon, Danny Glover, Mark Wahlberg and more... - Boston Herald
By Inside Track That Matt Damon's dad, Kent, has a $3 million property under agreement on Marlborough Street. That “Valediction,” an indie flick starring Danny Glover, is scheduled to start filming in and around Boston on Memorial Day weekend....
Yanks continue walk-off party -
Johnny Damon was the latest to take one in the face on Sunday, belting a 10th-inning home run to lift his club to a 3-2 victory over the Twins on Sunday, New York's third straight in walk-off fashion. And just as in the previous pair of thrilling...
Activists: Police prying should be a concern - Boston Globe
Movie star Matt Damon was one of those who had their data looked up, according to the audit. By Globe Staff Civil liberties activists are calling for better protection of everyone's data after an audit found that police improperly tapped into the...
Blind Item #109: Stinky Trailer Trash -
It's not Matt Damon…or his BFF Ben for that matter. Wanna know the dirt? Don't forget to just sign up (It's free) and join the Blind Item Reveal Group.! Also you'll have a bonus Blind Item that only the Blind Item Reveal Group will be...
Your Frank Sinatra Shortlist: Leonardo DiCaprio? Johnny Depp ... - Rolling Stone
Matt Damon: The laughingly named “Matt Damon's Agent” suggested Jason Bourne as Sinatra, but the suggestion has gathered enough steam on various sites that it bears some thought. Damon might be able to tap into Sinatra's boyish charm and bare-knuckled...
Twitter Joins Mainstream With Webby Award - Sky News
Other Webby award-winners include former Friends star Lisa Kudrow, who stars in online series Web Therapy, and Sarah Silverman, who won best actress for her web video with Matt Damon. US TV host Jimmy Fallon won person of the year for the way he uses...
Matt Damon Turned Down Captain Kirk Role in JJ Abrams' Star Trek? -
Matt Damon turned down the role of Captain Kirk in the new Star Trek film. Director JJ Abrams has revealed that he initially approached Damon for the reboot, but the actor declined his offer. According to WENN, the Lost creator said that Damon was his...
The Geneva Connection - The Herald
The title suggested a Matt Damon thriller, but here was a Geneva Connection whose thrills, unfurled in a series of concerts around Scotland last week, were musical and spiritual. Linking John Calvin's 500th birthday with the modern artistry of Cappella...
Matt Damon, Tom Brady Personal Records Illegally Accessed - Post Chronicle
by Staff Personal information about stars including Matt Damon and supermodel Gisele Bundchen's husband, American footballer Tom Brady, have been illegally accessed by police in Massachusetts. An internal audit has revealed that questionable criminal...
Here is the latest New Jersey sports from The AP - WKRG-TV
NEW YORK (AP) Johnny Damon homered in the 10th inning, giving the surging New York Yankees a 3-2 victory yesterday. It was their third straight comeback win over the Minnesota Twins that was capped by a game-ending hit. The Yankees close out the...

Matt Damon

Matt Damon's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Damon was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Kent Telfer Damon, a stockbroker, realtor, and tax preparer, and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, an early childhood education professor at Lesley University. In an interview with Mail on Sunday, Damon stated that his grandfather is probably the most "impressive person he knows," stating, "He's Finnish, a very proud man, who would never take help from anybody. He came to America when he was a little boy, grew up during the Great Depression and sold shoes. He used to tell us the story about getting a raise of three and a half cents, and how that was an incredible moment of success. He's extraordinary." Damon is of English, Finnish, and Scottish ancestry. Damon has a brother, Kyle, who is an accomplished sculptor and artist. He and his family lived in Newton for the first two years of his life, but after his parents divorced, Damon and his brother moved with his mother to Cambridge.

Damon grew up near Ben Affleck, a close friend since childhood and collaborator on several films, and historian and author Howard Zinn, whose biographical film You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train and audio version of A People's History of the United States Damon narrated. He attended Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in Cambridge, and performed in several theater productions. Damon graduated from the school in 1988. He attended Harvard University from 1988 to 1992 but did not graduate. He instead pursued acting projects, including the TNT original film Rising Son and ensemble prep-school drama School Ties. While at Harvard, he studied English and lived in Lowell House. He did not take part in student theater generally, but did appear in A... My Name is Alice (in one of the three male roles usually performed by women). Damon dropped out of the university to pursue his acting career in Los Angeles when Geronimo: An American Legend was expected to be a big success.

His first film role came in 1988 when he was eighteen, with a single line of dialogue in the romantic comedy Mystic Pizza. Damon appeared in small roles before landing a big part in Geronimo: An American Legend with Gene Hackman and Jason Patric. He next appeared as a heroin-addicted soldier in 1996's Courage Under Fire. He was required to lose 40 pounds (18 kg) in 100 days (for only two days of filming). After following a self-prescribed diet and fitness regimen to lose the weight, Damon was told after filming that he was fortunate his heart did not shrink. Damon took medication for several years afterwards to correct the stress inflicted on his adrenal gland, and has stated that it was worthwhile to properly portray his character and show the industry how committed he was to the role.

Damon and Ben Affleck wrote a screenplay about a young math genius, which they had pitched around Hollywood. Receiving advice from writer/director/actor Rob Reiner, screenwriter William Goldman, and their friend writer/director Kevin Smith, the two made changes to the script. The script eventually became Good Will Hunting, and received nine Academy Awards nominations, earning Damon and Affleck Oscars for Best Original Screenplay. Damon was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for the same film and the film netted an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for co-star Robin Williams. Damon and Affleck were each paid salaries of $500,000; the film grossed over $100 million at the box office. Damon parodied his role in the film in Kevin Smith's Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. After meeting Damon on the set of Good Will Hunting, director Steven Spielberg cast Damon in the World War II film Saving Private Ryan (1998).

Along with Affleck and producers Chris Moore and Sean Bailey, Damon founded the production company LivePlanet, through which the four created the documentary series Project Greenlight to find and fund worthwhile film projects from novice filmmakers. The company produced and founded the failed mystery-hybrid series Push, Nevada among other projects. Project Greenlight was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Reality Program in 2002, 2004, and 2005.

Damon has been known to choose a wide variety of film roles, from his portrayal of bisexual murderer Tom Ripley in The Talented Mr. Ripley, for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor, to a fallen angel who discusses pop culture as intellectual subject matter in Dogma, in which he co-starred with Affleck (1999); from a conjoined twin in Stuck on You, to a film he co-wrote with friend Casey Affleck and Gus Van Sant with limited dialogue—the low budget experimental film Gerry. Damon has been part of two major film franchises. He played amnesiac assassin Jason Bourne in the successful action movies The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, and The Bourne Ultimatum, and starred as the youthful, optimistic thief Linus Caldwell, opposite George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Julia Roberts in Steven Soderbergh's 2001 remake of the Rat Pack's 1960 caper classic Ocean's Eleven. The successful crime dramedy spawned two sequels: Ocean's Twelve (2004) and Ocean's Thirteen (2007).

Among other roles, Damon played a fictionalized version of Wilhelm Grimm in Terry Gilliam's fantasy adventure The Brothers Grimm and an energy analyst in Syriana. He was recently onscreen in Robert De Niro's The Good Shepherd as a career CIA officer, and played an undercover mobster working for the Massachusetts State Police in Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning The Departed, a remake of the Hong Kong police thriller Infernal Affairs. He had an uncredited cameo in Francis Ford Coppola's Youth Without Youth (released in 2007), a cameo in the 2008 Che Guevara biopic Che, and a supporting role in Kenneth Lonergan's film Margaret, due in 2009.

In 2007, rumors stated that producer J.J. Abrams was trying to get Damon to play James T. Kirk in the 2009 movie Star Trek. In an interview with IGN, Damon denied the claim.

In motion pictures that feature him as a leading actor or supporting co-star, his films have grossed a total of US$1.92 to US$2.28 billion (based on counting his roles as strictly lead or including supporting roles) at the North American box office, placing him in the top twenty-five grossing actors of all time. In August 2007, financial magazine Forbes created a list of actors who generated the best box office performance related to their salaries; the list placed Damon as the most bankable star of the actors reviewed, revealing that Damon had averaged US$29 at the box office for every dollar he earned for his last three films.

Damon's projects include five films that are expected to debut in 2009, including his portrayal of Mr. Aaron in the drama Margaret. He began filming Green Zone in January 2008, and commenced filming Steven Soderbergh's thriller, The Informant, in Central Illinois on May 3, 2008. On June 27, 2008, producer Frank Marshall announced that a fourth Jason Bourne movie was expected to be made, with filming expected in the summer of 2009 for a release in 2010. Damon will provide a voice for the upcoming film Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, although the specific role is as yet unknown.

He will be playing rugby team captain Francois Pienaar in the Clint Eastwood directed Nelson Mandela bio-pic The Human Factor, a film based on a 2008 book by John Carlin, and also featuring Morgan Freeman as Mandela. Carlin sold the film rights to Morgan Freeman.

Damon has had relationships with several actresses throughout his career. Damon had a two-year relationship with actress Winona Ryder. He also dated Odessa Whitmire, who has worked as a personal assistant for Billy Bob Thornton and Ben Affleck, from 2001 to 2003. His relationship with Good Will Hunting co-star Minnie Driver reportedly ended when Damon announced their break-up on The Oprah Winfrey Show, though both actors have repeatedly denied this. Damon later stated that he was "sick and tired" of hearing the story, saying it was false. Driver's sister allegedly told Cosmopolitan that the couple had broken up before the show was taped. Although the media often claimed Damon dated actress Eva Mendes, both have denied any relationship.

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel often says: "Our apologies to Matt Damon, we ran out of time" near the end of his ABC television show Jimmy Kimmel Live, a gag lampooning instances where shows cannot feature their last guest due to time constraints. On September 12, 2006, after a segment highlighting the running gag and a lengthy introduction by Kimmel, Damon finally appeared on the show, only for Kimmel to apologetically cut his interview and head to credits, as Damon cursed him. Kimmel later asserted to USA Weekend that the skit was entirely planned and Damon willingly played along. Kimmel's girlfriend, comedian Sarah Silverman, also used this line at the end of the 2007 MTV Movie Awards. This gag was also used again when Guillermo interviewed Damon at the Ocean's Thirteen premiere, with Damon asking "Are you with Kimmel?" Silverman also aired a clip of her singing a song entitled "I'm Fucking Matt Damon" on January 31, 2008 on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Damon appeared in the song with Silverman and at the end when she is apologizing to Jimmy, Damon interrupts her saying, "Jimmy, we're out of time. Sorry." Kimmel himself later responded by showing a music video in which he announced, through song, that he is "fucking Ben Affleck". The video aired on February 24, 2008 and featured Affleck along with celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Harrison Ford, Cameron Diaz, Joan Jett, Macy Gray, Robin Williams, Don Cheadle, Pete Wentz, Perry Farrell, Benji and Joel Madden, Lance Bass, Huey Lewis, Josh Groban, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Christina Applegate, Rebecca Romijn, Dominic Monaghan, Meat Loaf and various others.

Among Damon's interests include his support of the Boston Red Sox.

Damon, along with frequent co-stars George Clooney and Brad Pitt, supports ONE, a campaign fighting AIDS and poverty in Third World countries. He has appeared in their print and television advertising. Damon is also an ambassador for OneXOne, a non-profit foundation committed to supporting, preserving and improving the lives of children at home in Canada, the United States, and around the world.

Damon, along with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle, and Jerry Weintraub, is one of the founders of Not On Our Watch, an organization that focuses global attention and resources to stop and prevent mass atrocities such as in Darfur. He is also the founder of H2O Africa Foundation, the charitable arm of the Running the Sahara expedition.

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Steven Soderbergh

Steven soderbergh by soyignatius.jpg

Steven Andrew Soderbergh (born January 14, 1963) is an American film producer, screenwriter, cinematographer, editor, and an Academy Award-winning film director. He is best known for directing the films sex, lies, and videotape, Erin Brockovich, Traffic, the Ocean's Eleven franchise, and his biopic Che.

Soderbergh was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Mary Ann (née Bernard) and Peter Andrew Soderbergh, who was a university administrator and educator. He has Swedish ancestry (the family's original surname in Swedish, Söderberg, was changed to Soderbergh when they immigrated to the United States). When he was a child, his family moved from Atlanta to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where his father became Dean of Education at Louisiana State University (LSU). There he discovered filmmaking as a teenager, directing short Super 8 mm films with equipment borrowed from LSU students.

His primary high school education was at Louisiana State University Laboratory School, a K-12 school that is directed by the University. While still taking classes there around the age of fifteen, Soderbergh enrolled in the university's film animation class and began making short 16 mm films with secondhand equipment.

Rather than attending LSU, Soderbergh tried his luck in Hollywood after graduating from high school; he worked as a game show scorer and cue card holder to make ends meet, and eventually found work as a freelance film editor. His big break came when he directed the Grammy-nominated concert video 9012Live for the rock band Yes in 1985.

It wasn't until Soderbergh came back to Baton Rouge that he conceived the idea for sex, lies, and videotape (1989), which he wrote in eight days. The independent film won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, became a worldwide commercial success and greatly contributed to the 1990s independent film revolution. At age 26, Soderbergh became the youngest director to win the festival's top award. Movie critic Roger Ebert dubbed Soderbergh the "poster boy of the Sundance generation".

Making good on his Schizopolis-inspired "artistic wake-up call," his commercial slump ended in 1998 with Out of Sight, a stylized adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel, written by Scott Frank and starring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez. The film was widely praised, though only a moderate box-office success. It reaffirmed Soderbergh's potential, sparking the beginnings of a lucrative artistic partnership between Clooney and Soderbergh.

Soderbergh followed up on the success of Out of Sight by making another crime caper, The Limey (1999), from an original screenplay by Lem Dobbs and starring veteran actors Terence Stamp and Peter Fonda. The film was well-received, but not as much as Erin Brockovich (2000), a "Rocky movie" he directed, written by Susannah Grant and starring Julia Roberts in her Oscar-winning role as a single mother taking on industry in a civil action. Later that year, Soderbergh released Traffic, a social drama written by Stephen Gaghan and featuring an ensemble cast.

Ocean's Eleven (2001), featuring an all-star cast and flashy aesthetics, is Soderbergh's highest grossing movie to date, grossing more than $183 million. The film's star, George Clooney, subsequently appeared in Solaris (2002), marking the third time the two have headlined a film. In the same year, Soderbergh made Full Frontal which was shot mostly on digital video in an improvisional style that deliberately blurred the line between which actors were playing characters and which were playing fictionized versions of themselves. A film within a film, the title is a film industry reference to an actor or actress appearing fully nude (aka, "full frontal nudity"). Also in 2002, Soderbergh was elected First Vice President of the Directors Guild of America.

Following up Full Frontal stylistically was Soderbergh next project, K Street (2003), a ten-part political HBO series he co-produced with Clooney. The series was noteworthy for being both partially improvised and each episode being produced in the 5 days prior to airing to take advantage of topical events that could be worked into the fictional narrative. Actual political players appeared as themselves, either in cameos or fictionalized versions of themselves (as were the leads, real life husband and wife James Carville and Mary Matalin). The show caused a stir during the 2004 Democratic Primary when Carville gave candidate Howard Dean a soundbite during a location shoot that Dean then used in a debate.

Ocean's Twelve (2004), a sequel to Ocean's Eleven, has followed. The Good German, a romantic drama set in post-war Berlin starring Cate Blanchett and Clooney, was released in late 2006. The sixth pairing of Clooney and Soderbergh, Ocean's Thirteen, was released in June 2007.

In 2006, Soderbergh raised eyebrows with Bubble, a $1.6 million film featuring a cast of nonprofessional actors. It opened in selected theaters and HDNet simultaneously, and four days later on DVD. Industry heads were reportedly watching how the film performed, as its unusual release schedule could have implications for future feature films. Theater-owners, who at the time had been suffering from dropping attendance rates, did not welcome so-called "day-and-date" movies. National Association of Theatre Owners president and CEO John Fithian indirectly called the film's release model "the biggest threat to the viability of the cinema industry today." Soderbergh's response to such criticism: "I don't think it's going to destroy the movie-going experience any more than the ability to get takeout has destroyed the restaurant business." The film did poor business both at the box office and on the home video market. Nevertheless, Soderbergh is on contract to deliver five more day-and-date movies. In fall of 2006 he contributed a mini-essay on hotel pornography, along with an accompanying series of long-exposure photographs, to Anthem magazine's November/December issue.

In 2007, Soderbergh and Tony Gilroy contributed an audio commentary to the DVD re-release of The Third Man by the Criterion Collection.

On May 22, 2008, Che, which may be released in theatres in two parts titled The Argentine and Guerrilla, was presented in the main competition of the 2008 Cannes film festival. Benicio del Toro plays Argentine guerrilla Ernesto "Che" Guevara in an epic four-hour double bill which looks first at his role in the Cuban uprising before moving to his campaign and eventual death in Bolivia.

Soderbergh shot his feature film The Girlfriend Experience in New York in 2008. The film's lead actress is adult film star Sasha Grey.

He is developing his next directing effort, a 3-D live-action rock musical film based on Cleopatra's life, with Catherine Zeta-Jones in talks to play Cleopatra, and with music by the band Guided by Voices. Soderbergh and scriptwriter Jim Greer will rewrite the lyrics of the songs to fit the story. Hugh Jackman was approached to play Mark Antony but withdrew. Soderbergh plans to begin filming in April 2009.

Soderbergh often acts as his own director of photography under the alias of Peter Andrews and occasionally as his own editor under the alias of Mary Ann Bernard. While shooting Traffic, Soderbergh wanted a credit of "Photographed and Directed by". The Writer's Guild (WGA) wouldn't allow another credit ahead of the writer. Because Soderbergh didn't want his name used more than once, he adopted a pseudonym, Peter Andrews, his father's first and middle names.

A Warner Brothers film will have Soderbergh working with Matt Damon again. A true story, The Informant, will have Matt Damon playing the role of Mark Whitacre, a corporate whistleblower. Whitacre wore a wire for two and a half years for the FBI as a high-level executive at a Fortune 500 company, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), in one of the largest price-fixing cases in history. Filming is expected to commence on April 15, 2008. The script for the movie was written by Scott Z. Burns based on Kurt Eichenwald’s book, The Informant.

Soderbergh often utilizes Cliff Martinez to construct/compose the soundtracks to his movies, and when not cutting his own films, he relies on editor Stephen Mirrione.

Soderbergh has made big-budget Hollywood films as well as art-house independent films; works with above-the-title movie stars and unknowns; directs adaptations and original material, both of which written by himself as well as other screenwriters. His versatility is also apparent with the genres which he chooses to film and his trades as a filmmaker behind the scenes. Traffic screenwriter and Syriana director Stephen Gaghan named Soderbergh "the Michael Jordan of filmmaking" for his ability to assume so many distinct roles in film production.

While Soderbergh is enamoured of dialogue, Soderbergh's incorporation of score and montage are equally prevalent in his story-telling. Even Soderbergh's light-hearted affairs, such as Out of Sight and Ocean's 11, contain scenes where images and score are the dominant story-telling mechanisms. Films such as Solaris and Traffic are heavily layered in scenes absent of dialogue altogether. Cliff Martinez, a frequent collaborator with Soderbergh, composes many of the scores that provide Soderbergh with the thematic and sonic landscapes into which he inserts his characters.

But while Soderbergh's subject matter is highly varied, many of his films feature as a central theme the exploration of the act or moral consequences of lying. For example, the protagonists in two early films, King of the Hill and sex, lies, and videotape, are both pathological liars (one in training, one in recovery), while most of the characters in both Oceans films are con artists. It is interesting to note that he directed Spalding Gray in Gray's Anatomy after King of the Hill, an actor who often commented that he was unable to "make anything up". Full Frontal is another film in this thread, where seemingly the fundamental dishonesty of the entire filmmaking process is exposed. More distantly, Soderbergh's interest in rhyming slang, as seen in The Limey and the Oceans films, may be seen as part of this theme, based on the conjectured origin of rhyming slang as a language game.

Soderbergh has, nonetheless, been dubbed a stylistic chameleon by Anne Thompson of Premiere Magazine. Drew Morton has extensively researched Soderbergh and has tied him to a modern movement much like the French New Wave.

Soderbergh is married to writer/journalist (and ex-E! Entertainment Television anchor) Jules Asnerwhom he often credits for influencing his female characters.

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Ocean's Twelve


Ocean's Twelve is a 2004 heist film that takes place after the events of Ocean's Eleven which was a remake of the 1960 film of the same name. As its predecessor the film is directed by Steven Soderbergh and used a celebrity ensemble cast. The film was released in the United States on December 10, 2004. The sequel, Ocean's Thirteen, was released on June 8, 2007 in the United States.

At the beginning of Ocean's Twelve, the eleven members of Ocean's Eleven are living their lives separately off the fortunes of their Vegas casino heist in the first film. Terry Benedict (Andy Garcia), the owner of the three casinos, confronts each member of the team in turn, demanding the team return his money, with interest. Benedict gives the team two weeks to come up with the money, which amounts to the original $160 million plus $38 million interest for a total of $198 million. The Ocean's Eleven members realize they are short $97 million which they must get in two weeks.

Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and the team decide to stage another heist to pay off the debt. Being too 'hot' to work in the US they pick a European target: the world's oldest stock certificate issued by the Dutch East India Company in 1602, worth approximately €2.5 million and kept in Amsterdam. While this amount will not pay their remaining debt in full, is enough to extend their deadline. The group manage to breach the security around the certificate, in part by physically lifting the building to achieve 'line of sight', but rival thief, François Toulour (AKA 'The Night Fox') (Vincent Cassel) beats them to the document and leaves a message for them.

Toulour is a notorious European thief trained by the legendary retired thief Gaspar LeMarque (Albert Finney) who believes himself to be the world's greatest thief. Toulour is the one who revealed the identities of the eleven to Benedict. Toulour was quite upset that his mentor, LeMarque, failed to correct a businessman who claimed Danny was the best thief in the world after hearing of the elaborate complexities of the eleven's Bellagio job. Toulour breaks 'rule number one' (revealing another thief's identity) in order to lure the team to Europe where he can propose a challenge—as going after the same object is the only way to determine who's the better thief. Both Danny's group and Toulour will attempt to steal the famous Coronation Egg within a week; the first to succeed will be declared the better thief. If Danny's team wins, Toulour will pay off the team's debt to Benedict. With no other options Danny accepts the challenge.

Meanwhile Europol detective Agent Isabel Lahiri (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who has a strong affiliation with the work of both Gaspar LeMarque and The Night Fox, is told of the heist by the Night Fox. Whilst investigating the scene, a hole left in the wall from an impossible shot leaves her to remember of her past romance with Ocean's associate Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt). Lahiri had mentioned of a man named 'Schumann' who had lifted a building at a certain time in the past. Lahiri immediately believes that Rusty used Schumann's technique to lift the building to achieve 'line of sight'. After this, Lahiri begins to track down Ocean's team, beginning with Frank Catton (Bernie Mac) whose fondness for pedicures made him the easiest to find. Whilst paying a visit to Rusty's apartment, Lahiri steals Rusty's phone, as well as makes out the appearances of both Danny and 'The Amazing' Yen (Shaobo Qin). Thus endangering their operation. Toulour further diminishes Danny's teams chances of winning by giving Lahiri a DVD of footage from his in-house security cameras which give away members of Danny's crew, whilst they were stealing paintings from Toulour's house.

Using this information, Lahiri is able to capture most of Danny's crew in their first attempt to steal the egg. The only people who get away are Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon), Basher Tarr (Don Cheadle), and Turk Molloy (Scott Caan). The remaining team devise a plan for a second attempt which involves a very reluctant Tess (Julia Roberts) masquerading as the famous actress Julia Roberts. During the attempt, famous movie star Bruce Willis (as himself) who is on vacation in Rome, recognizes who he thinks is 'Julia Roberts' and unintentionally interferes with their heist. They almost get away with the egg before Lahiri shows up and reveals them to be thieves. Whilst in jail, Linus' mother Mrs. Caldwell (Cherry Jones) disguised as a US official named Molly Star, manages their extradition.

Danny and Tess meet Toulour at Lake Como in Italy. At his home, Toulour delights in explaining how he was able to steal the egg by climbing to the roof of the Museum at dark without being detected by Danny's recon squad. Toulour, making use of amazing flexibility and some moves from the martial art/dance of capoeira, sneaks his way past the lasers and takes the egg. Danny then reveals to Toulour that Danny and his crew had in fact won the contest and that Toulour had stolen a fake. Danny and Rusty had previously visited LeMarque and learned the location of the real egg. Earlier in the film, the egg is shown to be transported from Paris to Rome in an armored car convoy, with many other fake eggs displayed as decoys. It is revealed that the real egg was in fact transported on foot by three disguised people who leaves the Museum in Paris shorty after the armored car convoy, carrying the egg in a knapsack. Danny, Linus, Basher, and Turk who all catch the same train as the three, stage a fight, so that Linus could switch the bag with an almost identical decoy bag. LeMarque also warned Danny and Rusty to assume that Toulor would always have them under surveillance. Hearing this, Toulour is crestfallen, and Danny gets the money that Toulour had given to LeMarque to hold in confidence when the competition was first proposed.

It is not until the end that the viewers realize that LeMarque was actually the mastermind behind the entire operation. By deliberately making Toulour feel inferior to Ocean's group, he manipulates Toulour into entering the competition. This is "the solution to all our problems" that he alludes to in the meeting with Daniel and Rusty. Toulour is the mark, and Danny's team is essentially a pawn of LeMarque. Their task is to simply acquire the egg, and then get caught. This convinces Toulour that he has won, although the contest is just misdirection. The reason LeMarque helped Danny and Rusty to destroy his apprentice, is because LeMarque had also wished to be reunited with his estranged daughter, which happens to be Agent Lahiri. Rusty arranged for Lahiri to be flown to her estranged father after Rusty and the crew were released from jail.

The result of the entire adventure is that Danny's group is now in the clear with Terry Benedict, the extraordinarily talented Toulour is disgraced (both in fortune and in reputation), and LeMarque is reunited both with his daughter and with the Fabergé egg he had stolen years earlier (his wife made him put it back). This illustrates the artistry of LeMarque, and why he is regarded so highly amongst those who perform the long con. This is the reason LeMarque is so apologetic to Danny and Rusty, and he claims "I'm still getting the better of you" at the end of their meeting. Reuben then meets with Benedict to pay him honestly and in full. During their conversation the camera zooms in on the Toulour in the background disguised as one of Terry Benedict's gardeners, implying that Toulour is either secretly working with Benedict, or plans to rob Benedict in order to prove himself once again and to get his money back.

The film ends with all of Ocean's Eleven celebrating in a private poker room. Lahiri walks in and slightly frightens the crew, until Rusty runs in behind her and reveals that they are back together.

The sequel was based on a spec script by George Nolfi called Honor Among Thieves that was originally intended to be directed by John Woo. The filming of Ocean's Twelve took place at many locations worldwide. United States film cities include Beverly Hills, California, Lake Forest, Illinois, Lincolnwood, Illinois, Winnetka, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California. In Europe, the crew filmed in Amsterdam, Haarlem, The Hague, Paris, Monte Carlo, Lake Como, Rome, and Castellammare del Golfo.

The film is replete with running gags culled from the first film, with several unique to particular characters. For example, despite the fact that Yen only speaks Mandarin, the characters seem to have little trouble understanding him, and vice versa. In addition, the only English words Yen speaks are curse words. Another gag relates to Pitt's character, Rusty; he is seen eating some sort of food, usually of fast-food quality, in nearly all of his non-stunt scenes. His tattoos are subject matter (most notably the one on his left arm) as he states that he talked to a doctor about getting his tattoo removed "but due to the location, he advised against it". In both films, whenever Daniel Ocean winds up in prison he is wearing a tuxedo, meaning it is what he is also wearing whenever he is released. In one of those instances, Rusty joked to Danny, "I hope you were the groom." Bernie Mac's character, Frank, likes to have both manicures and pedicures; this predictability aids in his arrest.

Another notable occurrence is the loss of Yen when the bag he is crammed into is lost at the airport. This reflects the scene in Ocean's Eleven when he was placed in a coin safe in the Bellagio's vault and locked in.

Jerry Weintraub made a small cameo as a highroller in Ocean's Eleven, and proceeded to make a silent, unrelated cameo in Twelve, as the annoying business man who brags about Danny to LeMarque. That second cameo suddenly became a small character in Ocean's Thirteen, named Denny Shields, who supplies the whales for Danny and the crew to win at Bank's casino. He is very regretful for causing the whole problem in Ocean's Twelve.

Throughout the allusions are made about some unusual aspect of Tess' appearance, namely that she looks "just like" someone, but who that is not clear until later in the film. In the penultimate act, Tess, played by Julia Roberts, is recruited into the con because "she looks just like Julia Roberts", in fact she looks so strikingly similar that she is able to fool Bruce Willis, one of Roberts' real life friends.

Linus, Matt Damon's character, quotes the lyrics to the classic Led Zeppelin song "Kashmir" in a scene with Danny, Rusty, and a theft organizer named Matsui (Robbie Coltrane). The other three men say seemingly nonsensical phrases; Linus, not knowing what to say on his turn, quotes the song, saying, "Oh let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dreams, I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been." Later, Rusty and Danny tell him that what he said would mean, in code, that Linus had called Matsui's seven-year-old niece, who was confined to bed with a sickness that Pitt would not mention, a (very cheap) whore. Later, however, it is revealed that this was just the other characters having fun at Linus's expense (A "Lost in Translation").

This film introduces a series of oddly named cons, including the "Smuggler's Paradise," "Swinging Priest," "Crazy Larry," "Soft Shoulder," "Baker's Dozen," and "Hell in a Handbasket," none of which is described in detail, although all of them require more than three people. Additionally, the "Baker's Dozen" scheme requires a woman and "Hell in a Handbasket" requires a trained cat. In the end, they decide to use a "Lookie-Loo with a Bundle of Joy." As the viewer comes to learn, in this con they use Tess (who "looks like" Julia Roberts) to get close to the egg, then use her pregnancy (referencing Roberts' real-life pregnancy, or "bundle of joy") as an excuse to leave quickly.

During Bruce Willis's scenes, he is constantly told, "That moment where she doesn't talk to you at the restaurant? I knew." In response, Bruce later states to Tess, "If everyone's so damn smart how come the movie made $675 million worldwide?" This is in reference to Willis's hit movie, The Sixth Sense.

Topher Grace also makes a second appearance in which he destroys one of Rusty's hotel rooms. Grace states that he regrets the choices he's made by saying: "I quit the show, and totally phoned in that Dennis Quaid movie" referring to That '70s Show and In Good Company respectively.

When Isabel asks Tess, or "Julia Roberts" for her autograph, Tess signs with her right hand, even though Julia Roberts is left handed. In reality, Julia Roberts is ambidextrous.

In spite of extremely high box office expectations and a promising opening weekend, Ocean's Twelve did not fare as well as Ocean's Eleven, although by film industry standards it was still a financial success. By comparison with its predecessor, Ocean's Twelve grossed about $125 million in the United States and $351,331,634 after its worldwide theatrical run, while Ocean's Eleven made about $184 million domestically and grossed $444,200,000 worldwide in its entire box office run.

The movie received tepid reviews overall, receiving a rating of 58% at Metacritic. The film was criticized for its slow start, its complex plot and a final twist that negated much of the preceding action. The Washington Post's Stephen Hunter said that "it all ends on one of those infuriatingly sloppy notes where, having dramatized narrative events for us, which we have taken on good faith, it suddenly and arbitrarily delivers narrative events which completely invalidate events ." Many viewers and critics also felt the movie was a thinly veiled excuse for several A-list actors (including Clooney, Pitt and Damon) to work on a project together. Newsweek said that "while it looks like the cast is having a blast and a half, the studied hipness can get so pleased with itself it borders on the smug." Claudia Puig with USA Today remarked, "At the rate things are going, all of Hollywood will put in about a day's work on Ocean's Seventeen." More mercifully, Roger Ebert concluded his review this way, "The movie is all about behavior, dialogue, star power and wiseass in-jokes. I really sort of liked it." Ocean's Twelve was rated by Entertainment Weekly as one of the "The 25 Worst Sequels Ever Made".

Despite its poor critical response, the film won a BMI Film Music Award, received by composer David Holmes. The film was nominated for several other festival awards.

The original soundtrack to Ocean's Twelve was released by Warner Bros. Records on December 7, 2004. David Holmes returned to compose the music for the film and won a BMI award. His songs "Amsterdam" and "I Love Art...Really!" were released as singles and do not appear on the commercial soundtrack. The soundtrack is also absent of the music used during the Nightfox "laser-dance" sequence in the film. The clip is from a track called "Thé à la Menthe" performed by La Caution, according to the film's end credits. The track titled "The Real Story" is different on the commercial soundtrack than it is in the film, which uses "Rito a Los Angeles" by Giuseppe De Luca, featuring part of the main riff of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. The music Benedict plays on the piano when he comes to visit Basher is called "Requiem for a Dead". It was written and performed by Andy Garcia. The track that plays as Lahiri cracks Matsui is "El Capitalismo Foraneo" by Gotan Project. "Ascension to Virginity" was taken from the 1968 movie Candy where it likewise appeared in the epilogue -- the version on the soundtrack is the full length version from the Candy soundtrack LP.

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The Bourne Identity (2002 film)


The Bourne Identity is a 2002 spy film loosely based on Robert Ludlum's novel of the same name. It stars Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, an amnesiac attempting to discover his true identity amidst a clandestine conspiracy within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to track him down and arrest or kill him for inexplicably failing to carry out an officially unsanctioned assassination and then failing to report back in afterwards. Along the way he teams up with Marie, played by Franka Potente, who assists him on the initial part of his journey to learn about his past and regain his memories. The film also stars Chris Cooper as Alexander Conklin, Clive Owen as The Professor, Brian Cox as Ward Abbott, and Julia Stiles as Nicky Parsons.

The film was directed by Doug Liman and adapted for the screen by Tony Gilroy and William Blake Herron from the novel of the same name written by Robert Ludlum, who also produced the film alongside Frank Marshall. (Though Ludlum died in 2001). Universal Studios released the film to theaters in the United States on June 14, 2002 and it received a positive critical and public reaction. The film was followed by a 2004 sequel, The Bourne Supremacy, and a third part released in 2007 entitled The Bourne Ultimatum.

During a stormy night, a group of Italian fishermen find a man floating in the Mediterranean off Marseille, with two gunshot wounds in his back and a device with the number of a Swiss safe deposit box embedded in his hip. Suffering from retrograde amnesia, he finds he is versed in several European languages and can perform uncommon tasks such as sea navigation and tying exotic knots in the ship's ropes, but he cannot remember anything about himself including his name or why he was found in the ocean. When the ship docks, he sets off for Zürich to investigate the safe deposit box.

At CIA headquarters in Langley, Deputy Director Ward Abbot finds out about a failed assassination attempt on deposed African dictator Nykwana Wombosi.

Meanwhile in Zürich, the amnesiac is approached by two police officers who see him sleeping on a park bench. He, at first confused because the police speak in German, suddenly responds in German saying that he lost his identification papers. The officers attempt to arrest him, but he renders them both unconscious and disables their pistols in a matter of seconds; after doing this he surveys the scene in front of him with shock, realising that, even though he has amnesia, he is proficient at advanced hand to hand combat and at using firearms. He flees the park, discarding his distinctive orange jacket so as not to be recognised.

The next morning, he visits the bank in Zürich; using the number embedded in his hip, he gains access to a high-security vault, and opens his safe deposit box to find several passports containing his picture (under different names), large amounts of assorted currencies, and a handgun. Still with no idea what his real name is, he assumes the one from the first US passport, Jason Bourne. He takes all the passports and money, but returns the box with the handgun. As he leaves, a bank employee watches him, then makes a phone call to inform the CIA black ops group Operation Treadstone that he has been sighted.

As he walks down a snow-covered road, Bourne notices a pair of police officers watching him from across the street; he quickens his pace, only to look over his shoulder and see them following him. When American and Swiss authorities attempt to capture him at the US Consulate, he offers Marie Helena Kreutz, a young woman in desperate need of money, $20,000 to take him to Paris, the city of the address on his Jason Bourne passport.

Alexander Conklin, the head of Treadstone, assures Deputy Director Abbott that he will destroy any evidence connecting them to the field agent, Jason Bourne, responsible for the failed assassination attempt on Wombosi. He activates three "assets" to take down their fellow operative: Castel, Manheim, and the Professor.

When Bourne arrives at the address on his passport, he is immediately recognized by the building superintendent, and based on the contents of his apartment, he concludes he is in the shipping business. In search of more clues, he hits redial on his phone and is connected to the Hotel Regina, who recognize one of his aliases from another passport, John Michael Kane. They tell him that Kane was a guest who died two weeks before in a car crash. As Bourne ponders this, Castel blasts through a window and engages Bourne in hand-to-hand combat. After Bourne subdues him he attempts to interrogate him, but Castel jumps out the window, preferring suicide (to interrogation by Bourne for information). Marie finds wanted posters in Castel's bag with both her and Bourne's pictures on them.

Bourne continually advises Marie to leave him as he's trying to figure out who he is and why people are after him. He tells her to go to the police and explain everything to them; she chooses to remain with him and encourages him to figure it out with her help. After eluding the Paris police and spending the night in hiding, they go to the Hotel Regina. There, Marie asks for John Michael Kane's , Bourne's, hotel records.

Meanwhile, Conklin plants a body in the Parisian morgue to fool Wombosi into thinking Kane, his attempted assassin, is dead, but Wombosi recognizes that the body is not his assailant, and Conklin has Wombosi killed in his home by the agent known as "the Professor". Bourne investigates the incident, the previous assassination attempt, and John Michael Kane's contacts, and concludes that he is the failed killer. He and Marie escape the city into the country to stay at the house of Eamon, an old friend of Marie's, where Jason decides that he no longer wants to be who he was.

Keeping $30,000, Bourne sends Marie away with the rest of the money for her own safety. He uses the Professor's cellular phone to arrange a meeting with Conklin on the Pont Neuf, which he uses as a distraction to plant a tracking device on Conklin's vehicle to discover the location of Operation Treadstone's safe house in Paris.

After following the vehicle to the safe house, Bourne uses an electronic device to trigger the car alarms of all the cars parked on the street, and when the noise distracts the guards, he climbs into the operation's safe house where Nicky Parsons and Conklin are.

When he meets Conklin, holding him at gunpoint, he finally begins to remember his last mission. He had backed out of the (officially unsanctioned) Wombosi assassination after seeing Wombosi's children. Bourne turns around to leave the boat, but is shot twice by one of Wombosi's bodyguards before completing his escape. Due to his grievous wounds, Bourne loses consciousness and the sea carries him during the storm until he is discovered by the fishermen.

After this memory, he tells Conklin that he is leaving Treadstone permanently and warns him not to try to follow him. He then realizes Conklin silently triggered an alarm and has backup on the way. Bourne leaves Nicky unharmed, has a shootout with several CIA agents, and escapes into the night.

Abbott, having decided that Treadstone should be closed down for good, has the last operative, Manheim, murder Conklin. Abbott then goes before an oversight committee and glibly explains Treadstone away as an ineffective assassin-training program, then immediately shifts the focus of the hearing to an idea for a new project codenamed "Blackbriar". Sometime later, Jason finds Marie renting out scooters to tourists, and the two reunite.

Liman's directorial method was often hands-on. Many times he operated the camera himself in order to create what he believed was a more intimate relationship between himself, the material, and the actors. He felt that this connection was lost if he simply observed the recording on a monitor. This was a mindset he developed from his background as a small-scale indie film maker.

Liman approached a wide range of actors for the role of Bourne, including Russell Crowe and Sylvester Stallone, before he eventually cast Matt Damon. Liman found that Damon understood and appreciated that, though The Bourne Identity would have its share of action, the focus was primarily on character and plot. Damon, who had never played such a physically demanding role, insisted on performing many of the stunts himself. With stunt choreographer Nick Powell and trainer Jeff Imada, Damon underwent three months of extensive training in stunt work, the use of weapons, boxing, and eskrima. Damon eventually performed a significant number of the film's stunts himself, including hand-to-hand combat and climbing the safe house walls near the film's conclusion. Franka Potente's performance in Run Lola Run prompted Liman to approach her for the part of Marie Helena Kreutz. Liman desired to cast an actress who was unfamiliar to American audiences yet would be a suitable opposite for the Bourne character. Filming took place in Prague, Paris, Imperia, Rome, Mykonos, and Zürich; several scenes set in Zürich were also filmed in Prague.

The acclaimed car chase sequence was filmed primarily by the second unit under director Alexander Witt. The unit shot in various locations around Paris while Liman was filming the main story arc elsewhere in the city. The finished footage was eventually edited together to create the illusion of a coherent journey. Liman confessed that "anyone who really knows Paris will find it illogical", since few of the locations used in the car chase actually connect to each other. Liman took only a few of the shots himself; his most notable chase sequence shots were those of Matt Damon and Franka Potente while inside the car.

The inner workings of the fictitious Treadstone organization were inspired by Liman's father's job in the National Security Agency (NSA) under President Ronald Reagan. Of particular inspiration were Liman's father's memoirs regarding his involvement in the investigation of the Iran-Contra affair. Many aspects of the Alexander Conklin character were based on his father's recollections of Oliver North. Liman admitted that he jettisoned much of the content of the novel beyond the central premise, in order to modernize the material and to conform it to his own beliefs regarding United States foreign policy. However, Liman was careful not to cram his political views down "the audience's throat". There were initial concerns regarding the film's possible obsolescence and overall reception in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, but these concerns proved groundless.

The critical reception of the film was largely positive, with the film review collection website, Rotten Tomatoes, giving the film an 83% approval rating. Roger Ebert gave the film three stars and praised it for its ability to absorb the viewer in its "spycraft" and "Damon's ability to be focused and sincere" concluding that the film was "unnecessary, but not unskilled". Walter Chaw of Film Freak Central praised the film for its pacing and action sequences, describing them as "kinetic, fair, and intelligent, every payoff packaged with a moment's contemplation crucial to the creation of tension" and that the movie could be understood as a clever subversion of the genre. Charles Taylor of acclaimed the film as "entertaining, handsome and gripping, The Bourne Identity is something of an anomaly among big-budget summer blockbusters: a thriller with some brains and feeling behind it, more attuned to story and character than to spectacle" and praised Liman for giving the film a "tough mindedness" that never gives way into "cynicism or hopelessness". Ed Gonzalez of Slant Magazine also noted Doug Liman's "restrained approach to the material" as well as Matt Damon and Franka Potente's strong chemistry but ultimately concluded the film was "smart but not smart enough". J. Hoberman of The Village Voice dismissed the film as "banal" and as a disappointment compared against Liman's previous indie releases; Owen Gleiberman also criticised the film for a "sullen roteness that all of Liman's supple handheld staging can't disguise". Particular acclaim was directed toward the film's central car chase which was described as an exciting action highlight and one of the best realized in the genre.

In its opening weekend, The Bourne Identity took in (USD) $27,118,640 in 2,638 theaters. As of March 2007, the film has grossed $121,661,683 in the United States and $92,263,424 elsewhere for a total worldwide gross of $213,925,107.

On January 21, 2003 Universal Studios released The Bourne Identity on VHS, and on DVD in the US in two formats; a single-disc widescreen collector's edition and a single-disc full screen collector's edition. Both contain supplemental materials including a making-of documentary, a commentary from director Doug Liman and deleted scenes. On July 13, 2004 Universal studios released a new DVD of the film in the US in preparation of the sequel's cinema debut. This DVD also came in two formats: a single-disc widescreen extended edition and a single-disc full screen extended edition. Both contain supplemental materials including interviews with Matt Damon, deleted scenes, alternative opening and ending, a documentary on the consulate fight and information features on the CIA and amnesia. The alternate ending on the DVD has Bourne collapsing during the search for Marie, waking up with Abbot standing over him, and getting an offer to return to the CIA. Neither contain the commentary or DTS tracks present in the collector's edition. The film was also released on UMD for Sony's PlayStation Portable on August 30 2005 and on HD DVD on July 24, 2007.

The Bourne Identity was followed by a 2004 sequel, The Bourne Supremacy, which received a similar positive critical and public reception,, but received some criticism for its hand-held camerawork, which observers argued made action sequences difficult to see. The Bourne Supremacy was directed by Paul Greengrass with Doug Liman returning as a producer and Matt Damon reprising his role as Jason Bourne. A third film, The Bourne Ultimatum, was released on August 3, 2007 and is once again directed by Paul Greengrass and stars Matt Damon. Like The Bourne Supremacy, Ultimatum received generally positive critical and public reception, but also received similar criticism for the camera-work.

With the release of The Bourne Ultimatum on DVD, a new DVD of The Bourne Identity was included in a boxed set with The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. The boxed set is entitled The Jason Bourne Collection. The new Bourne Identity DVD is called the "Explosive Edition", which includes all the previous extra features as the "Explosive Extended Edition" plus Feature Commentary with director Doug Liman. However, the DVD itself does not contain the commentary, and so far, Universal Home Entertainment has made no effort to correct this problem. The spine number on this version of The Bourne Identity is 61103847.

Universal is moving ahead with a fourth installment of The Bourne Identity franchise. Though both Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass claimed they were calling it quits after the third installment, both are reported to be appearing in the fourth film.

In 2008, The Bourne Identity was adapted into a game, The Bourne Conspiracy.

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The Good Shepherd (film)


The Good Shepherd is a 2006 spy film directed by Robert De Niro and starring Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie, with an extensive supporting cast. Although it is a fictional film loosely based on real events, it is advertised as telling the untold story of the birth of counter-intelligence in the Central Intelligence Agency. It is a Morgan Creek Productions film distributed by Universal Pictures. The film's main character, Edward Wilson (portrayed by Matt Damon), is loosely based on James Jesus Angleton and Richard M. Bissell. William Hurt's character, Phillip Allen, is largely based on Allen Dulles, while General Bill Sullivan, played by Robert De Niro, is loosely based on Major General William Joseph Donovan.

In 1961, the Bay of Pigs Invasion into Cuba fails due to an as of yet undisclosed leak. Afterwards, a photograph and an audio recording on reel-to-reel tape are anonymously dropped off at the home of Edward Wilson (Matt Damon), a senior CIA officer.

The narrative flashes back to 1939: Edward is attending Yale University and is a new member of Skull and Bones, a secret society that grooms future U.S. leaders. As part of his initiation, Edward must reveal a secret about himself: he reveals that as a young boy, he discovered his father's suicide note. After the ceremony, a fraternity brother tells him that Edward's father, an admiral, was to be chosen as Secretary of the Navy, until his loyalties were questioned. He asks Edward what the suicide note said, and Edward tells him that he never read it.

Shortly after the Skull and Bones ceremony, Edward is recruited by an FBI agent (Alec Baldwin), who claims that Edward's poetry professor, Dr. Fredericks (Michael Gambon), is a Nazi spy. Edward is asked to help expose the professor, which he does, resulting in Dr. Fredericks' deportation. It is also heavily implied that the professor is homosexual (taboo in this era), and that the professor has an attraction to Edward, which would aid Edward in exposing him.

Edward begins a relationship with a hearing-impaired student named Laura (Tammy Blanchard). However, while attending a Skull and Bones retreat on Deer Island, Edward meets Margaret 'Clover' Russell (Angelina Jolie), his friend's sister. General Bill Sullivan (Robert De Niro), who is not a member of the Skull and Bones Society, asks Wilson to join the OSS, offering him a post in London. Soon after, Clover aggressively seduces Wilson, and they have sex in the woods behind the Skull and Bones club house.

A few months later, while Edward and Laura are at the beach, Clover's brother arrives and privately talks to him. The brother reveals Clover is pregnant with Wilson's child and asks if he will "do what is expected." Laura, able to read lips, sees this and walks away. Edward marries Clover, and during the wedding reception, a U.S. Army courier arrives, reiterating General Sullivan's offer for a position at the OSS London office. Edward accepts, whereupon the courier then hands over his orders, requiring him to be in England in one week. Clover is to remain in the US. To his surprise, Edward's former professor, Dr. Fredericks, is also in London; he is actually a British intelligence operative. While at Yale, he had sought to infiltrate a Nazi organization, causing the American authorities to suspect he was a Nazi spy. Edward's betrayal of his professor ruined two years of espionage work. Despite this, Fredericks recognized Edward's gifts and recommended him to be trained in counter-espionage methods in London.

Soon after, a British intelligence officer, Arch Cummings (Billy Crudup), tells Edward that Fredericks' indiscriminate homosexual relationships pose a security risk and asks Edward to deal with his former mentor. As they walk, Fredericks refuses Edward's chivalrous suggestion to protect himself by returning to teaching, and he, in turn, advises Edward to "quit the dirty work . . . while you still have a soul." However, he understands if Edward wants to "tie his shoe" (a signal to watchers that the meeting went badly). Edward delays, which prompts Fredericks to kneel down and tie Edward's shoe for him. As their meeting ends, Fredericks leaves Edward, and, after turning a street corner, is killed and his body dumped into the river.

The timeline moves to post-war Berlin, where the Allies and the Soviets, in a race for technological superiority, are vying to recruit as many German scientists as possible. Edward encounters his Soviet counterpart, codenamed "Ulysses", who praises Edward as a formidable adversary. They and their subordinates meet in a bombed out church in Berlin and exchange scientists to the other side---the Soviets asking for German Nazi and Slavic scientists, while the Americans asking for Jewish scientists.

Edward interviews potential German informants with the aid of a female interpreter, Hanna Schiller (Martina Gedeck), who wears a hearing aid. When Edward makes a rare phone call home, he inadvertently learns from his young son, Edward, Jr., that Clover is seeing another man. After the phone call, Hanna enters Edward's office and invites him to her house. After cooking dinner, she asks him to stay, and they end up having sex. Afterwards, Edward realizes that Hanna can hear him without the use of her hearing aid, exposing her as a Soviet operative who has infiltrated OSS activities. Edward has Hanna killed and notifies Ulysses by having her hearing aid planted into his tea pot.

After six years in London, Edward returns to the United States and is greeted by Clover (who now prefers to be called Margaret). Edward presents his son with a miniature model ship he made that is inside a glass watch casing. He learns from Margaret that her brother was killed in the war, and she confesses that she was seeing another man. When she asks if he had any relationships, Edward replies that, "it was a mistake." She suggests they sleep in separate bedrooms until they become reacquainted, to which Edward agrees. General Sullivan approaches Edward again to help form a new foreign intelligence organisation (the CIA) where Edward will work with his former colleague, Richard Hayes (Lee Pace), under Phillip Allen (William Hurt). Edward accepts, hiding the details about his job from his wife's friends and other acquaintances.

Edward's first assignment deals with an unnamed Central American coffee-growing country where the Russians are trying to gain influence. Edward spots Ulysses in the background of some stock footage of the country's leader, but chooses to conceal this information from others in the room. An agent, also a Skull and Bones member, is sent undercover as a representative of the Mayan coffee company. In order to intimidate the Central American leader, Edward arranges for airplanes to fly over and release locusts during a public event where the Russians (including Ulysses) are present. Edward later receives a can of Mayan coffee, presumably from Ulysses, containing the severed finger of the American agent.

Edward interviews Valentin Mironov, a Russian requesting asylum and claiming to be a high-ranking official who knows Ulysses. While attending the theatre with Mironov and Cummings, Edward unexpectedly encounters his former sweetheart, Laura. Edward and Laura leave the theatre separately, then meet at a restaurant and discuss old times before having sex at Laura's house.

Sometime later when Edward has gone ahead to a Skull and Bones dinner, Margaret anonymously receives photos of Laura and Edward getting into a taxi together and kissing. A distraught Margaret confronts him at the dinner. Edward ends the relationship with Laura by sending her jewelled crucifix to her by messenger, which he had kept from their college romance days.

Edward receives a call from a Soviet defector (Mark Ivanir) claiming that he is the real Valentin Mironov, and the person they know as Valentin is an impostor whose real name is Yuri Modin, a KGB operative working for Ulysses. Edward does not believe him, and agents torture the Russian in an attempt to uncover his true identity. The defector never changes his story, even enduring a form of waterboarding. Eventually, he is administered liquid LSD, because of its alleged truth serum properties, which ultimately causes erratic behavior. But he solidly clings to his stated identity; he shouts that he is Valentin Mironov and commits suicide by hurling himself out the window to the pavement several stories below. This is apparently based on an actual event when U.S. Army scientist Frank Olson died in a similar way, allegedly as a result of unwittingly participating in CIA-conducted LSD experiments called MKULTRA. The first man claiming to be Mironov, who witnessed the ordeal from behind a two-way mirror with Edward, offers to take LSD to prove his innocence.

Edward visits his son, Edward Jr., at Yale, where he has also joined the Skull and Bones society and has been approached for recruitment by the CIA. Margaret (Clover) pleads with Edward to persuade their son not to accept, but Edward Jr. joins anyway, believing it will bring him closer to his loving, but distant father. This widens the rift between Edward and Margaret, and she eventually leaves him and moves to Arizona to live with her mother. Later, while at a Skull and Bones retreat, Edward discusses the upcoming Bay of Pigs invasion with Hayes. Edward Jr. inadvertantly overhears the discussion and a reference to "Bahía de Cochinos", Spanish for "Bay of Pigs." Edward suspects that Edward Jr. may have overheard the conversation and warns his son not to repeat anything that was discussed.

Time passes, and the Bay of Pigs invasion fails. The CIA thoroughly analyzes the photograph (which depicts a Caucasian man and a woman of color making love) and the edited version of the tape that was anonymously dropped at Edward's house earlier in the movie. From visual clues such as the ceiling fan's brand name and the church bells and other sounds heard on the tape, CIA specialists deduce that the photograph may have been taken in Leopoldville, Congo. Edward goes there and finds the room. He realizes that the photograph and tape are of his son Edward Jr. when he sees the model ship in the glass watch casing that he gave his son is sitting on the nightstand; its blurred image was the one object in the photo that the CIA team was unable to identify. Ulysses has apparently been awaiting Edward's arrival. He plays Edward an unedited version of the tape, which reveals that Edward Jr. repeated "Bahía de Cochinos", the classified information he overheard his father discussing, to his lover—a Soviet spy. It is that information that led to the Cubans' and Soviets' knowledge regarding the CIA landing at the Bay of Pigs. Ulysses reveals that the woman spy has truly fallen in love with Edward Jr. Ulysses encourages Edward to spy for the Soviets in exchange for them protecting his son. Edward is non-committal, however; he confronts his son, who says that he is in love with the woman and plans to marry her. When Edward tells him she is a spy, Edward Jr. refuses to believe him.

Edward exposes Valentin as a Soviet spy after finding evidence hidden in the book binding of a copy of Ulysses: inside are a passport with his real name and an escape plan. Arch Cummings is also exposed as a co-conspirator. In an earlier scene, Cummings gave the book to Valentin as a seemingly clever benign gift, playing on Valentin's knowledge about Ulysses, the Soviet spy. Arch Cummings flees to the USSR. After this, Edward declines to run counter-intelligence for the Soviets. Edward explains that the Soviets have won in Cuba and that it is not necessary to hurt his son. Ulysses makes a reference to Edward doing him a future favor, having placed Edward in a compromising position. Ulysses notes of Edward Jr.'s fiancée: "neither of us can be sure about her", and asks Edward, "Do you want her to be part of your family?" Edward says nothing. Shortly after this, Ulysses' aide asks him for change to purchase his daughter a souvenir from the gift shop. Edward asks how much it is, and, upon hearing it is a dollar, hands him a one dollar note, commenting that a cardinal rule of democracy is generosity. This appears to be a reference to a scene from the film's beginning, where a young boy on a bus asks Edward for change for a dollar—when Edward returns to his office, he matches the bill's serial number to a CIA asset codenamed "CARDINAL". So Edward is, in fact, returning the "marked" dollar to the asset, who is Ulysses' aide.

Edward and Margaret arrive separately in the Congo for Edward Jr.'s wedding. His fiancée boards a small plane to travel to the ceremony. In mid-flight, she is thrown out the door by the co-pilot. When she fails to arrive at the church, Edward informs a worried Edward Jr. that his fiancée is dead. Edward Jr. tearfully asks his father if he had anything to do with her death, to which Edward denies any responsibility. Edward Jr. reveals that his fiancée was pregnant; this news shocks and saddens Edward.

Edward then meets with fellow Skull and Bones classmate Hayes (loosely based on Richard Helms) at the new CIA headquarters still under construction. Hayes tells him that Allen is resigning under a cloud of financial improprieties, and that the President has asked him to be the new Director. The President has directed him to do some "house cleaning" and he tells Edward that he needs someone he can trust, saying, "after all, we're still brothers" and that Edward is the "CIA's heart and soul". He then shows Edward a wing of the CIA that will be Edward's "part of the world" and tells him he will be the first head of counter-intelligence.

Edward is then shown opening a floor safe in his closet and pulling out the suicide note that his father, Thomas, had left before killing himself. Edward finally reads the note, in which his father's words reveal that he had betrayed his country. He left loving words for his wife and son, particularly urging the latter to grow up to be a good man, husband, and father and to live a life of decency and truth. Edward burns the note.

The movie ends with Edward leaving his old office moving to his new wing in CIA.

De Niro wanted to do a film about the CIA from the Bay of Pigs to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Roth's script ended just after the Bay of Pigs. They ended up making a deal: Roth would write up De Niro's idea into a screenplay if the actor would direct his existing script. If The Good Shepherd proved to be a commercial success then their follow-up would be De Niro's pitch. The project subsequently moved to Universal Pictures where producer Graham King agreed to help finance the $110+ million budget. He had a deal with Leonardo DiCaprio who was interested in playing the film's protagonist Edward Wilson. De Niro planned to shoot the movie in the fall of 2004 but DiCaprio couldn’t do it then because he was making The Departed for Martin Scorsese. King left with him and so did his financial backing. King told Daily Variety, "If the marketplace got better, I'd love to make this movie. It's one of the best scripts I've ever read (but) you can't make the movie for any less than we have it budgeted for. I certainly wouldn't disrespect Bob (De Niro) by getting him to cut the budget of the film." On November 20, 2004, Variety magazine reported that Matt Damon agreed to star as Wilson and James Robinson's Morgan Creek Productions agreed to help finance the film with a budget under $90 million which meant that many of the principal actors, Damon included, would have to waive their usual salaries to keep costs down. Principal photography began on August 18, 2005 with shooting taking place in New York City, Washington D.C., London and the Dominican Republic.

De Niro wasn’t interested in making a spy movie with flashy violence and exciting car chases. “I just like it when things happen for a reason. So I want to downplay the violence, depict it in a muted way. In those days, it was a gentleman's game.” He and Roth were also interested in showing how absolute power corrupted the leaders of the CIA. Early on, De Niro said in an interview, “they tried to do what they thought was right. And then, as they went on, they became overconfident and started doing things that are not always in our best interests.” In order to achieve authenticity, he hired ex-CIA operative Milt Bearden (who worked for the agency for 30 years) as the film's technical advisor.

Three-time Academy Award-winning art director Jeannine Oppewall was assigned art director for The Good Shepherd, which would eventually earn Oppewall her fourth Oscar nomination for Best Art Design. It took her a week to organize the number of set locations due to the large amounts of settings in the script, which included Cuba, Léopoldville, London, Guatemala, Moscow, New York and New Haven, Connecticut, among other places. Although the vast majority of the movie was filmed in New York, the only scenes that are actually set in New York take place in a house in Far Rockaway, Queens. As a result, many sets had to be constructed under Oppewall's direction, including a Skull and Bones headquarters and the Berlin set, which was built on the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Oppewall built sets based on Skull and Bones, Central Intelligence Agency and other clandestine organizations after she consulted with a former CIA operative and researched books of interviews with spy agency insiders. Since the lead character originally aspired to be a poet, Oppewall incorporated many visual poetic symbols into the film, including a large number of mirrors to represent the duplicity of the CIA, full rigged ships as symbols of the state and eagle symbols, which were used in ironic situations such as suspect interrogations.

The music for the film was by Bruce Fowler and Marcelo Zarvos. They replaced James Horner, who left the project due to creative differences.

Edward Wilson, the character played by Matt Damon, is based at least in part on James Jesus Angleton, the long-serving director of the CIA's counter-intelligence staff who also fell victim to intense paranoia during his career, and covert operations specialist Richard Bissell. Bill Sullivan, the character played by Robert De Niro, is based on William Stephenson and William Joseph Donovan. William Hurt's character Phillip Allen is likely based on former CIA Director Allen Dulles, while Lee Pace's character Richard Hayes shares some similarities, including a similar name, to Dulles' eventual successor Richard Helms. High-ranking British operative turned Soviet mole, Arch Cummings, bears some similarities to Kim Philby (who fled to the USSR after being exposed and spent his last years friendless and mired in alcoholism). The character Yuri Modin shares similar characteristics to Soviet defector Anatoliy Golitsyn, and the character of Dr. Ibanez bears some similarities to Jacobo Arbenz.

In May, 2007, CIA's historians publicly released an article referencing the film's depiction of the OSS and CIA, and discussing factual details surrounding the actual persons on whom some of the film's characters were based. The article also addressed inaccurate but enduring beliefs that Yale's famous secret society Skull and Bones was an incubator of the U.S. Intelligence Community.

Oscar-winning actor Joe Pesci appears in one scene as a Mafia boss ("Joseph Palmi") who, it is implied in the film, is a fictionalized composite of Santo Trafficante Jr. & Sam Giancana (in one scene it is mentioned that Castro has seized "three of casinos and thrown him out of Cuba." In fact, Castro did nationalize several casinos owned by both Chicago and Florida organized crime interests). The CIA recruited such mafiosi for multiple assassination attempts against Fidel Castro. The story thread, however, is not fully developed in the film.

The film takes many liberties with the historic events it portrays. Notably, the film inaccurately depicts the Bay of Pigs failure as the result of a leak within the agency. In fact, the CIA's own analysis came to the conclusion that the Bay of Pigs Invasion failed because of a combination of incompetent planning and execution, unrealistic expectations, and poor security.

One of the great travesties of the Cold War surfaced on April 29, 2000 when the Washington Post reported the declassification in full of General Maxwell Taylor's June, 1961 special report on the Bay of Pigs invasion. Partial versions of this document have been available for decades. But only now did its darkest secret spill. Here is what Taylor reported to Kennedy. The Russians knew the date of the invasion (Therefore, Castro also knew.) The CIA, headed by Allen Dulles, knew that the Russians knew (Therefore, they knew the invasion would fail). The leak did not come from the invasion force; it had happened before the Cuban exiles were themselves briefed on the date. Kennedy was not informed. Nor, of course, were the exiles. And knowing all this, Dulles ordered the operation forward.

In an early scene, Wilson and Laura are shown at an evening dance, which is interrupted by an announcer stating that they have just learnt that Britain and France have declared war on Germany. However, the public announcement of Britain's declaration of war was made by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in a radio address to the British nation on 3 September 1939 at 11:15 am, after Germany had failed to end hostilities in Poland by 11:00 am. This public radio address would have taken place at 05.15 am the same day on the US East Coast (since Britain had daylight saving or summer time, while the USA then did not). It is not plausible that some 16 or so hours would elapse before this announcement became public knowledge in the USA.

Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly praises De Niro's direction and Damon's performance, noting the latter's maturation as an actor. She gives the movie a grade of "B".

In 2007, the cast of The Good Shepherd won the silver bear of the prestigious Berlin film festival for outstanding artistic contribution. It was the only American entry in 2007 to win a prize at the festival.

De Niro said he would like to make two sequels to "The Good Shepherd", one bringing the action forward from 1961 to 1989, the other following its protagonist, Edward Wilson (Matt Damon), up to the present day.

Although he is not working on research for the concluding parts of the hoped-for trilogy, De Niro said being in central Europe offered a good opportunity to begin thinking about the material. “I had not been planning to do research on that while here, but it is a good idea,” he said.

The meeting between Wilson and Ulysses' aid, the agent named CARDINAL, references Tom Clancy's novel The Cardinal of the Kremlin wherein a direct mole within the Kremlin serves American interests during the most tense periods of the Cold War.

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Good Will Hunting

Good will h.jpg

Good Will Hunting is a 1997 drama film directed by Gus Van Sant and written by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, both of whom star in the film.

Set in Boston, Massachusetts, it tells the story of Will Hunting (Damon), a troubled Irish-Catholic young man from South Boston who, although a prodigy, a polymath and an autodidact, works as a janitor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. Will must learn to overcome his deep fear of abandonment in order to learn how to trust and love the people who care about him.

Good Will Hunting was a financial success, earned widespread critical praise and several awards, and launched Damon and Affleck into prominence.

Though Will Hunting (Matt Damon) has a genius-level intellect, eidetic memory and a profound gift for mathematics, he works as a janitor at MIT and lives alone in a sparsely-furnished house in a rundown South Boston neighborhood. An abused foster child, he subconsciously blames himself for his unhappy upbringing and turns this self-loathing into a form of self-sabotage in both his professional and emotional lives.

In the first week of class, Will solves a difficult graduate-level problem taken from algebraic graph theory that Professor Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgård), a Fields Medalist and combinatorialist, leaves on a chalkboard as a challenge posed to his students, hoping someone might find the solution by the end of the semester. When it is solved quickly and anonymously, Lambeau posts a much more difficult problem—one that took him and his colleagues two years to prove. When Lambeau chances upon a mere janitor writing on the board, Lambeau chases him away. However, when Lambeau returns to the board, he is astounded to find the correct answer there. He then sets out to track Will down.

Meanwhile, Will attacks a youth who had bullied him 15 years ago in kindergarten, and he now faces imprisonment after attacking a police officer who was responding to the fracas. Realizing Will has enormous potential, Lambeau goes to Will's trial and intervenes on his behalf, offering him a choice: either go to jail, or be released under Lambeau's personal supervision to study mathematics and see a therapist. Will chooses the latter, even though he does not believe he needs therapy.

Will treats the first five psychologists Lambeau has him see with utter contempt. In desperation, Lambeau finally calls on Sean Maguire (Robin Williams), an estranged old friend and MIT classmate who happens to have grown up in the same neighborhood as Will. Sean differs from his predecessors in that he pushes back at Will and is eventually able to get past Will's hostile, sarcastic defense mechanisms. Will is particularly struck when Sean tells him how he gave up his ticket to see the Red Sox in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series (thus missing Carlton Fisk's famous home run) in order to meet and spend time with a stranger in a bar, who would later become his wife. This encourages Will to try to establish a relationship with Skylar (Minnie Driver), a young woman he had earlier met at a bar near Harvard University.

This doctor-patient relationship, however, is far from one-sided. Will challenges Sean to take a hard, objective look at his own life. Sean has been unable to deal with his beloved wife's premature death from cancer two years before.

Meanwhile, Lambeau pushes Will so hard that Will eventually refuses to go to the job interviews that Lambeau arranges for him. Will accidentally walks in while Lambeau and Sean are furiously squabbling about the direction of his future.

Skylar asks Will to move to California with her, where she will begin medical school at Stanford. Will panics at the thought. When Skylar expresses sympathy about his past, it triggers a tantrum and Will storms out of the dorm. He shrugs off the work he has been doing for Lambeau as "a joke". Lambeau begs Will not to throw it all away, but Will walks out.

Sean points out that Will is so adept at anticipating future failure in his romantic relationships, that he either allows them to fizzle out or deliberately bails, so he can avoid the risk of emotional pain. When Will refuses to give an honest reply to Sean's query about what he wants to do with his life, Sean shows him the door. Will tells his best friend Chuckie (Ben Affleck) that he wants to be a laborer for the rest of his life. Chuckie becomes brutally honest with Will: he feels it's an insult for Will to waste his potential, and that his greatest wish is to knock on Will's door one morning and find he isn't there.

Will goes to another therapy session, where he and Sean share that they were both victims of child abuse. Finally, after much self-reflection, Will decides to cease being a victim of his own inner demons and to take charge of his life.

When his buddies present him with a rebuilt Chevrolet Nova for his 21st birthday, he decides to go after Skylar, setting aside his lucrative corporate and government job offers. Will leaves a brief note for Sean, using one of Sean's own quips, "I had to go see about a girl." Chuckie discovers that Will has finally gone. Will is then shown starting for California for a new beginning with Skylar.

Affleck and Damon originally wrote the screenplay as a thriller: Young man in the rough-and-tumble streets of South Boston, who possesses a superior intelligence, is targeted by the FBI to become a G-Man. Castle Rock Entertainment president Rob Reiner later urged them to drop the thriller aspect of the story and to focus the relationship between Will Hunting (Damon) and his psychologist (Williams). At Reiner's request, noted screenwriter William Goldman read the script and further suggested that the film's climax ought to be Will's decision to follow his girlfriend Skylar (Driver) to California. Goldman has denied widely-spread rumors that he wrote Good Will Hunting or acted as a script doctor.

Castle Rock bought the script for $675,000 against $775,000, meaning that Affleck and Damon would stand to earn an additional $100,000 if the film was produced and they retained sole writing credit. However, studios balked at the idea of Affleck and Damon in the lead roles. At the time Damon and Affleck were meeting at Castle Rock, director Kevin Smith was working with Affleck on Mallrats and with both Affleck and Damon on Chasing Amy. Seeing that Affleck and Damon were having trouble with Castle Rock, Smith and his producer partner Scott Mosier brought the script to Miramax, which eventually caused the two to receive co-executive producer credits for Hunting. The script was put into turnaround, and Miramax bought the rights from Castle Rock.

After buying the rights from Castle Rock, Miramax gave the green light to put the film into production. Several well-known filmmakers were originally considered to direct, including Mel Gibson, Michael Mann and Steven Soderbergh. Originally Affleck asked Kevin Smith if he was interested in directing, Smith denied saying they needed a "good director", stating he only directs things he writes and he is not much of a visual director. Affleck and Damon later chose Gus Van Sant for the job, whose work in previous films like Drugstore Cowboy (1989) had left a favorable impression on the fledgling screenwriters. Miramax was persuaded and hired Van Sant to direct the film.

Good Will Hunting was filmed on location in the Greater Boston area and Toronto over five months in 1996. Although the story is set in Boston, much of the film was shot at locations in Toronto, with the University of Toronto standing in for MIT and Harvard, and the classroom scenes being filmed at McLennan Physical Laboratories and Central Technical School. The interior bar scenes set in South Boston ("Southie") were shot on location at "Woody's L St. Tavern". The cast engaged in considerable improvisation in rehearsals; Robin Williams, Ben Affleck and Minnie Driver each made significant contributions to their characters. Robin Williams' last line in the film, as well as the therapy scene in which he talks about his character's wife's little idiosyncrasies, were both ad-libbed. The therapy scene took everyone by surprise. According to Damon's commentary in the DVD version of the movie, this caused "Johnny" (the cameraman) to laugh so hard that the camera's POV can actually be seen moving up and down slightly as it shows Damon breaking character by also laughing so hard.

Director Gus Van Sant says in the DVD commentary that, had he known just how successful the movie was going to be, he would have left at least a couple of edited scenes intact that were cut purely for considerations of length. One of these involves Skylar's visit to Chuckie in hopes of shedding light on some of Will's eccentricities that Will himself is unwilling to discuss.

The film is dedicated to the memory of poet Allen Ginsberg and writer William S. Burroughs, both of whom died in 1997.

Good Will Hunting received many positive reviews from film critics: It has a 97% "Fresh" rating according to film review compilation website Rotten Tomatoes., and was nominated for many awards (see below).

According to the box office reports, Good Will Hunting grossed $225 million internationally (twenty-two times the film's budget). Although the film's limited release at the end of 1997 (traditional for likely Oscar candidates) merely hinted at its future success, the film caught on, thanks to good reviews and a strong reception by the American public. The film received international praise, in part due to the acting of Robin Williams and Matt Damon, both of whom were nominated for Academy Awards for the film, with Williams winning.

While Danny Elfman's score was nominated for an Oscar, only two cues appear on the film's soundtrack release. Elfman's "Weepy Donuts" was used on NBC's The Today Show on September 11, 2006, while Matt Lauer spoke during the opening credits.

Starland Vocal Band's "Afternoon Delight" is also featured in the closing credits after "Miss Misery," but does not appear on the soundtrack.

In Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, a fictional sequel is being filmed called Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season. It features cameos from Gus Van Sant, Scott Mosier, and Matt Damon. Though Ben Affleck has a role in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back as Holden McNeil, he does have a cameo as himself during the filming scenes of Good Will Hunting 2.

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Source : Wikipedia