Rosario Dawson

3.3652445369624 (961)
Posted by r2d2 03/08/2009 @ 07:08

Tags : rosario dawson, actors and actresses, entertainment

News headlines
Rosario Dawson Cast in Kevin James' 'Zookeeper' -
Kevin James is getting ready to create the next film for every one to hate and Rosario Dawson and Leslie Bibb are all aboard as The Zookeeper gets ready to shoot in late summer in Boston with MGM set to release the film on July 23, 2010....
Rosario Dawson, Steve Coogan join 'Percy Jackson' -
Hades is the god of the underworld, and Persephone is a human Hades tricked into servitude. Pierce Brosnan and Uma Thurman were cast as a centaur and Medusa, respectively, in late March. Catherine Keener signed on as Percy's mom in mid-April....
Steve Coogan, Rosario Dawson join cast of 'Percy Jackson' - Entertainment Weekly
The studio has hired Steve Coogan to play the lord of the underworld, Hades, and Rosario Dawson will take on the role of his imprisoned wife, Persephone, who in this story carries on a flirtation with Percy Jackson's teenage friend Grover,...
KASABIAN guitarist SERGE PIZZORNO counts himself a very lucky rock star after recording a collaboration with SIN CITY actress ROSARIO DAWSON for the band's new album. The British musician was ecstatic after persuading the Hollywood beauty to sing with...
VIP Scene: Rosario Dawson Celebrates Her 30th Birthday - Us Magazine
Rosario Dawson celebrating her 30th birthday with Latin-inspired Rose's Mojito cocktails at The Gates in NYC. · Johnny Knoxville playing Rhythm Heaven on Nintendo Dsi at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC. · Holly Madison taking photos with some NYPD...
10 stories you might have missed: Katherine Heigl wants her Emmy ... - HitFix
After getting all serious in "Seven Pounds," Rosario Dawson is taking an easier route for her next picture. The fan favorite of the genre community will star alongside Kevin James in MGM's "The Zookeeper." According to Variety, the action comedy finds...
The Ticker: Celebrity news - Chicago Tribune
Rosario Dawson will co-star in the romantic comedy "The Zookeeper" with Kevin James, who plays the title character, Variety reported. ... Christian Bale says he kept on saying "no" to the role of John Connor in the new "Terminator" movie until the...
Winona Ryder gets her MPDG on, Rosario Dawson remakes Medium Cool ... - A.V. Club
Exactly as bad as it looks and sounds This Revolution: When I first learned that Rosario Dawson was starring in a Medium Cool homage/remake I remember thinking, “Wow. That sounds interesting. And terrible.” Sweet sassy mollassy, was I ever right....
Lance Bass, Rosario Dawson Join Others In Promoting Organic ... - Ecorazzi
I am very excited to be supporting the Environmental Media Association's new project to support organic gardens in LA schools,” EMA Board Member Rosario Dawson told Access Hollywood. The actress will be joined by Amy Smart, Nicole Richie, Maroon 5,...

Rosario Dawson

Rosario Dawson-D.jpg

Rosario Dawson (born May 9, 1979) is an American actress and singer perhaps best known for her roles in the films Clerks II, Sin City, Rent, Death Proof and Seven Pounds.

Dawson was born in New York City, the daughter of Isabel, a plumber of Puerto Rican and Afro-Cuban descent, and Greg Dawson, a construction worker of Native American and Irish descent. Isabel was 17 when she had Rosario, and 18 when she married. When Isabel was 21, she broke into an abandoned building on the Lower East Side of Manhattan where she and her husband installed plumbing and electrical wiring, in order to turn the building into a squat in which Rosario would grow up. Dawson cites this when explaining how she learned "if you wanted something better, you had to do it yourself." She grew up surrounded by friends and family members who were HIV-positive. Her parents are now divorced.

Already as a child, Rosario made a brief appearance on Sesame Street. She was subsequently "discovered" on her front porch step by photographer Larry Clark and Harmony Korine, where Harmony lauded her with praise as being perfect for a part he had written in his screenplay that would become the controversial 1995 film Kids. Since then Dawson's films have varied; ranging from independent films, to highly successful big budget blockbusters, and large scale box office bombs. Among her successes are Rent, He Got Game and Men in Black II. Among her failures are The Adventures of Pluto Nash (which was nominated for six Golden Raspberry Awards) and the live-action film adaptation of Josie and the Pussycats.

In 1999, Dawson teamed up with Prince for the re-release of his 1980s hit "1999". The new remixed version featured the actress in an introductory voice over, offering commentary on the state of the world in the year before the new millennium. The same year she appeared in The Chemical Brothers' video for the song "Out of Control" from the album Surrender. She is also featured on the track "She Lives In My Lap" from the second disc of the OutKast album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, during which she speaks the intro and a brief interlude towards the end.

Dawson starred as "Naturelle," the love interest of a convicted drug dealer played by Edward Norton, in the 2002 Spike Lee film drama, 25th Hour.

In 2004, Dawson appeared in Oliver Stone's Alexander as the bride of Alexander the Great, which also featured her in a fully nude/sex scene. In August-September 2005, Dawson appeared on stage as Julia in the Public Theater's "Shakespeare in the Park" revival of Two Gentlemen of Verona.

She starred in the film adaptation of the popular musical Rent, where she played the exotic dancer Mimi Marquez, replacing the original Mimi, Daphne Rubin-Vega, who was pregnant and unable to play the part. She also appeared in the adaptation of the graphic novel Sin City, where she played a prostitute-dominatrix.

In 2005, Dawson appeared in a graphically violent scene in the Rob Zombie film The Devil's Rejects. Though the scene was cut from the final film, it is available in the deleted scenes on the DVD release. In 2006's Clerks II, Dawson starred as Becky, the crush-turned-wife of Dante Hicks. As she mentioned in the making of documentary, Back to the Well, the donkey show sequence was what made her decide to appear in the movie. In May of the same year, Dawson, an avid comic book fan, co-created the comic book miniseries Occult Crimes Taskforce. She was at the 2007 Comic-Con to promote her new comic book miniseries.

In 2007, Dawson co-starred with former Rent alum Tracie Thoms in the Quentin Tarantino throwback movie Death Proof, part of the Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez double feature Grind House.

In 2007, Dawson teamed up with friend Talia Lugacy, whom she met at the Lee Strasberg Academy, to produce and star in Descent. On July 7, 2007, Dawson presented at the American leg of Live Earth.

On June 26, 2008, it was announced that Dawson will play Artemis in the upcoming animated Wonder Woman film.

Starting on August 18, 2008, Dawson starred in Gemini Division, an online-based TV series.

In 2008, Dawson starred with Will Smith in Seven Pounds.

Later that year on September 26, Dawson starred in Eagle Eye.

On January 17, 2009, Dawson hosted Saturday Night Live.

Dawson dated former Sex and the City star Jason Lewis for two years. They lived together in Los Angeles until they separated in November 2006. She has also been rumored to have dated Dawson's Creek star Joshua Jackson. In December 2008, Dawson confirmed on the Tonight Show that she had been dating an international DJ that she met at a French cafe.

Dawson is involved with the Lower East Side Girls Club and supports other charities such as environmental group Global Cool, the ONE Campaign, Oxfam, Amnesty International, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Stay (a poster and public service ad campaign for PFLAG where she is featured with her uncle Frank Jump), International Rescue Committee, Voto Latino, and she participated in the Vagina Monologues. She attended both the Democratic National Convention as well as the Republican National Convention in 2008. In October 2008, Dawson became a spokesperson for’s philanthropy program, More Than Footprints, involving Conservation International, Doctors Without Borders, National Geographic Society, The Nature Conservancy, and Save The Children. Also in October 2008, she lent her voice to the RESPECT! Campaign, a movement aimed at preventing domestic violence. She recorded a voice message for the Web site stressing the importance of respect in helping stop domestic violence.

To the top

Grindhouse (film)


Grindhouse is a 2007 film co-written, produced and directed by Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino. The film is a double feature consisting of two feature-length segments, Robert Rodriguez directed Planet Terror and Quentin Tarantino directed Death Proof, and bookended by fictional trailers for upcoming attractions, advertisements, and in-theater announcements. The film's title derives from the U.S. film industry term "grindhouse", which refers to (now no longer existent) movie theaters specializing in B movies, often exploitation films, shown in a multiple-feature format. The film's cast includes Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodriguez, Michael Biehn, Marley Shelton, Josh Brolin, Jeff Fahey, Naveen Andrews, Bruce Willis, Kurt Russell, Rosario Dawson, Jordan Ladd, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, stuntwoman Zoë Bell, and Vanessa Ferlito.

Rodriguez's segment, Planet Terror, revolves around an outfit of rebels attempting to survive an onslaught of zombie-like creatures as they feud with a military unit, while Tarantino's segment, Death Proof, focuses on a misogynistic, psychopathic stunt man who targets young women, murdering them with his "death proof" stunt car. Each feature is preceded by faux trailers of exploitation films in other genres that were developed by other directors.

After the film was released on April 6, 2007, ticket sales performed significantly below box office analysts' expectations despite mostly positive critic reviews. In much of the rest of the world, each feature was released separately in extended versions. Two soundtracks were also released for the features and include music and audio snippets from the film. In several interviews, the directors have expressed their interest in a possible sequel to the film.

Rodriguez first came up with the idea for Planet Terror during the production of The Faculty. "I remember telling Elijah Wood and Josh Hartnett, all these young actors, that zombie movies were dead and hadn't been around in a while, but that I thought they were going to come back in a big way because they’d been gone for so long," recalled Rodriguez, "I said, 'We've got to be there first.' I had I’d started writing. It was about 30 pages, and I said to them, 'There are characters for all of you to play.' We got all excited about it, and then I didn't know where to go with it. The introduction was about as far as I'd gotten, and then I got onto other movies. Sure enough, the zombie invasion happened and they all came back again, and I was like, 'Ah, I knew that I should've made my zombie film.'" The story was reapproached when Tarantino and Rodriguez developed the idea for Grindhouse.

Many of the cast members had previously worked with both directors. Before appearing in Grindhouse, Marley Shelton had auditioned for The Faculty, but Rodriguez chose not to cast her. She was eventually cast in the role of the Customer in the opening sequence of Sin City. Bruce Willis had appeared in both Tarantino's Pulp Fiction and Rodriguez's Sin City, in addition to having a cameo appearance in a segment Tarantino directed for the anthology film Four Rooms. Tom Savini had previously acted in From Dusk Till Dawn, which was written by Tarantino and directed by Rodriguez. Michael Parks reprises the role of Earl McGraw in Planet Terror and Death Proof. Parks first portrayed the role in From Dusk Till Dawn. His son, James Parks, appears in Death Proof as Edgar McGraw, a character that first appeared in From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money. The first time the two characters appeared together was in Tarantino's Kill Bill. Tarantino himself plays small roles in both segments of Grindhouse, and director Eli Roth, who contributed the fake trailer Thanksgiving and whose film Hostel was produced by Tarantino, has a cameo in Death Proof.

Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino each acted as cinematographer on their segments. Although Rodriguez had previously worked as the cinematographer on six of his own feature films, Death Proof marked Tarantino's first credit as a cinematographer. The director of photography for Rob Zombie's fake trailer Werewolf Women of the SS was Phil Parmet, whom Zombie had first worked with on The Devil's Rejects. The director of photography for Eli Roth's fake trailer Thanksgiving was Milan Chadima, whom Roth had previously worked with on Hostel.

The film uses various unconventional techniques to make the films more like those that were shown in grindhouse theaters in the 1970s. Throughout both feature-length segments and the fake trailers, the film is intentionally damaged to make it look like many of the exploitation films of the 1970s, which were generally shipped around from theater to theater and usually ended up in bad shape. To reproduce the look of damaged film reels in Planet Terror, five of the six 25,000-frame reels were edited with real film damage, plug-ins, and stock footage. The film prints sent to theaters were also intentionally damaged so that they would become jammed, or "brain-wrap" easily, a common side effect of running films at theaters for very long periods of time.

Planet Terror makes heavy use of digital effects throughout the film. Perhaps the most notable effect is Cherry's (played by Rose McGowan) fake leg. To accomplish the fake leg that Cherry sports after her accident, during post-production the effects teams digitally removed McGowan's right leg from the shots and replaced it with computer-generated props — first a table leg and then an M4 Carbine. During shooting for these scenes, McGowan wore a special cast which restricted her leg movement to give her the correct motion, and helped the effects artists to digitally remove her leg.

The music for Planet Terror was composed by Robert Rodriguez. Inspiration for his score came from John Carpenter, whose music was often played on set. A cover version of The Dead Kennedys' "Too Drunk to Fuck" performed by Nouvelle Vague was also featured. The soundtrack for Death Proof consists entirely of non-original music, including excerpts from the scores of other films. Soundtrack albums for both segments were released on April 3, 2007. "Death Proof" features dialogue excerpts from the film.

Grindhouse is rated R in the United States for "strong graphic bloody violence and gore, pervasive language, some sexuality, nudity and drug use". On March 15, 2007, The New York Post reported that the film would possibly require heavy and extensive cuts in order to avoid an NC-17 rating. Shortly after, the film officially received an R rating from the MPAA. Ain't It Cool News reported that according to Tarantino, only minimal cuts were made which ended up totaling 20 seconds.

In a rural town in Texas, go-go dancer 'Cherry Darling' (Rose McGowan) decides to quit her low-paying job and find another use for her numerous 'useless' talents. She runs into her mysterious ex-boyfriend El Wray (Freddy Rodriguez) at the Bone Shack, a restaurant owned by JT Hague (Jeff Fahey). Meanwhile, a group of military officials, led by the demented Lt. Muldoon (Bruce Willis), are making a business transaction with a scientist named Abby (Naveen Andrews) for mass quantities of a deadly biochemical agent known as DC2 (codename "Project Terror"); when Muldoon learns that Abby has an extra supply on hand, he attempts to take Abby hostage, and Abby intentionally releases the gas into the air. The gas reaches the town and turns its residents into deformed bloodthirsty psychopaths, mockingly referred to as "sickos" by the surviving humans. The infected townspeople are treated by the sinister Dr. William Block (Josh Brolin) and his abused, neglected anesthesiologist wife Dakota (Marley Shelton) at a local hospital. As the patients quickly become enraged aggressors, Cherry and Wray lead a team of accidental warriors into the night, struggling to find safety.

Three friends—Arlene (Vanessa Ferlito), Shanna (Jordan Ladd) and radio disc jockey Jungle Julia Lucai (Sydney Tamiia Poitier)—spend a night in Austin, Texas celebrating Arlene's birthday, unknowingly followed by a mysterious man in a souped-up 1970 Chevy Nova. The man, Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell), stalks the young women with his 'death proof car,' leading to a deadly encounter. Fourteen months later, Stuntman Mike—now equipped with an equally deadly 1969 Dodge Charger—stalks another group of young women—Lee (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Abernathy (Rosario Dawson), Kim (Tracie Thoms), and Zoë Bell (herself), a group of women working below the line in Hollywood, whose 1970 Dodge Challenger proves a worthy adversary.

Before each segment, there are trailers advertising fake films, as well as vintage theater snipes and an ad for a fictional restaurant called Acuña Boys. According to Rodriguez, it was Tarantino's idea to film fake trailers for Grindhouse. "I didn't even know about it until I read it in the trades. It said something like 'Rodriguez and Tarantino doing a double feature and Tarantino says there's gonna be fake trailers.' And I thought, 'There are?'" Rodriguez and Tarantino had originally planned to make all of the film's fake trailers themselves. According to Rodriguez, "We had so many ideas for trailers. I made Machete. I shot lobby cards and the poster and cut the trailer and sent it to Quentin, and he just flipped out because it looked so vintage and so real. He started showing it around to Eli Roth and to Edgar Wright, and they said, 'Can we do a trailer? We have an idea for a trailer!' We were like, 'Hey, let them shoot it. If we don't get around to shooting ours, we'll put theirs in the movie. If theirs comes out really great, we'll put it in the movie to have some variety.' Then Rob Zombie came up to me in October at the Scream Awards and said, 'I have a trailer: Werewolf Women of the SS.' I said, 'Say no more. Go shoot it. You got me.'" Each trailer was shot in two days. While Wright and Roth shot only what ended up on screen, Zombie shot enough footage to work into a half-hour film and was particularly pained to edit it down. Some Canadian screening releases included the South by Southwest-winning trailer Hobo with a Shotgun.

Rodriguez wrote Machete in 1993 as a full feature for Danny Trejo. "I had cast him in Desperado and I remember thinking, 'Wow, this guy should have his own series of Mexican exploitation movies like Charles Bronson or like Jean-Claude Van Damme.' So I wrote him this idea of a federale from Mexico who gets hired to do hatchet jobs in the U.S. I had heard sometimes FBI or DEA have a really tough job that they don't want to get their own agents killed on, they'll hire an agent from Mexico to come do the job for $25,000. I thought, 'That's Machete. He would come and do a really dangerous job for a lot of money to him but for everyone else over here it's peanuts.' But I never got around to making it." It was later announced that the trailer will be made as a feature film.

Rob Zombie's contribution, Werewolf Women of the SS, featured Nicolas Cage as Fu Manchu, Udo Kier as Franz Hess, the commandant of Death Camp 13, Zombie's wife, Sheri Moon Zombie, and Sybil Danning as SS officers/sisters Eva and Gretchen Krupp (The She-Devils of Belzac), along with wrestlers Andrew Martin and Oleg Prudius, and Olja Hrustic, Meriah Nelson, and Lorielle New as the Werewolf Women. According to Zombie, "Basically, I had two ideas. It was either going to be a Nazi movie or a women-in-prison film, and I went with the Nazis. There's all those movies like Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS; Fräulein Devil; and Love Camp 7—I've always found that to be the most bizarre genre." Zombie is also quoted as saying "I was getting very conceptual in my own mind with it. A lot of times these movies would be made like, 'Well, you know, I've got a whole bunch of Nazi uniforms, but I got this Chinese set too. We'll put 'em together!' They start jamming things in there, so I took that approach." On December 18, 2007, Zombie posted an entry on his MySpace page, asking if people would want to see a feature-length version of Werewolf Women of the SS.

Edgar Wright's contribution, Don't, was produced in the style of a 1970s European horror trailer. The trailer featured appearances from Jason Isaacs, Matthew Macfadyen, singer Katie Melua, Georgina Chapman, Emily Booth, Stuart Wilson, Lucy Punch, Rafe Spall, Wright regulars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and a voice-over by Will Arnett. Mark Gatiss, MyAnna Buring, Peter Serafinowicz, Michael Smiley and Nicola Cunningham (who played the zombie "Mary" in Shaun of the Dead), among others, made cameo appearances though they eventually went uncredited. To get the necessary 1970s look, Wright used vintage lenses and old-style graphics. During editing, he scratched some of the film with steel wool and dragged it around a parking lot to make it appear neglected by wayward projectionists. According to Wright, "In the '70s, when American International would release European horror films, they'd give them snazzier titles. And the one that inspired me was this Jorge Grau film: In the UK, it's called The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue. In Spain and in Italy, I think it's called Do Not Speak Ill of the Dead. But in the States, it was called Don't Open the Window. I just loved the fact that there isn't a big window scene in the film—it's all based around the spin and the voiceover not really telling you what the hell is going on in the film." On the Charlie Rose talk show, Quentin Tarantino also pointed out another aspect of American advertising of British films in the 1970s that is being referenced—none of the actors have any dialogue in the trailer, as if the trailer was intentionally edited to prevent American viewers from realizing that the film is British.

Eli Roth's contribution is a promo for the slasher opus Thanksgiving. Produced in the style of holiday-based slasher films such as Halloween, Black Christmas, April Fool's Day and My Bloody Valentine, the trailer starred Jeff Rendell as a killer who stalks victims dressed as a pilgrim, Jordan Ladd, Jay Hernandez, and Roth himself as his intended victims, and Michael Biehn as the Sheriff. The design for the titles in Thanksgiving was based on a Mad magazine slasher parody titled Arbor Day. Select excerpts of the score from Creepshow were used.

Some screenings of Grindhouse (mainly in Canada) also featured a fake trailer for a film titled Hobo with a Shotgun. The trailer, created by Dartmouth, Nova Scotia filmmakers Jason Eisener, John Davies and Rob Cotterill, won Robert Rodriguez's South by Southwest Grindhouse trailers contest.

The general plot is that a vagabond with a 20-gauge shotgun is taking the law into his own hands. In the trailer, the main character is seen killing numerous persons, ranging from armed robbers to corrupt cops to a pedophilic Santa Claus. The trailer was available in certain selected movie theaters in the United States and Canada. There have been discussions about making the trailer into an actual feature.

As stated on the fake trailer's Facebook account , the filming of a feature film should start in Spring 2009.

Grindhouse has been called a box office flop, surprising box office analysts and fans alike given the strong reviews and favorable media buzz. Costing $53 million to produce, Grindhouse opened poorly with "a disappointing $11.5 million" in the United States, making only a per-theater average of $4,417; box office analysts originally predicted an opening weekend total of at least $20-$30 million. The opening weekend box office total stood below not only the second weekends of Blades of Glory and Meet the Robinsons, but was also below the opening weekend of the widely panned Are We Done Yet?. In an attempt to explain the film's disappointing opening weekend, box office analyst Brandon Gray suggested that Grindhouse "suffered the usual horror comedy dilemma that afflicted Snakes on a Plane and Slither among others: too funny to be scary, too scary to be funny." Box office analyst Lee Tistaert of popular tracking website Lee's Movie Info compared the result with what may have happened if Tarantino's Kill Bill saga had been released as one film, instead of two separate volumes. "Is it possible that Tarantino got his wish this time as a result of two back-to-back $60 million grosses?" he asked. Others attributed the film's disappointing opening to the timing of Easter weekend, noting that the weekend is more tailored for family-oriented films or light-comedy, not exploitative horror films. Quentin Tarantino is quoted as saying about the film's box office results, "It was disappointing, yeah. But the movie worked with the audience. People who saw it loved it and applauded. I'm proud of my flop." Harvey Weinstein said that he was so "incredibly disappointed" with the film's opening weekend that he was considering re-releasing it as two separate movies and possibly adding back the "missing" scenes. The film has altogether earned $25,037,897 in ticket sales as of June 23, 2007.

The critics who didn't like the film were not amused by the film's graphic and comical violence, with Larry Ratliff of San Antonio Express-News noting that "this ambitious, scratched and weathered venture never manages a real death grip on the senses." Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle awarded the film a high rating, but noted that: "the Rodriguez segment is terrific; the Tarantino one long-winded and juvenile." Others, by contrast, have considered Death Proof to be a deeper and more noteworthy segment. Critic A. O. Scott of the New York Times notes that "t a certain point in Death Proof the scratches and bad splices disappear, and you find yourself watching not an arch, clever pastiche of old movies and movie theaters but an actual movie." Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert was divided. He gave Grindhouse as a whole two and a half stars out of four, awarding Planet Terror two stars and Death Proof three stars.

The double feature appeared at number six on Jack Mathews and Owen Gleiberman's respective top ten lists for New York Daily News and Entertainment Weekly, and at number seven on Stephanie Zacharek's list for Salon. Marc Savlov listed Death Proof at number ten on his list for The Austin Chronicle.

Internationally, Planet Terror and Death Proof were released separately in extended versions, approximately two months apart. The poster artwork for each film's release in the Netherlands claimed that Death Proof would feature "coming attractions" from Rodriguez, while Planet Terror would feature "coming attractions" from Tarantino. While the separated version of Planet Terror includes the Machete trailer, none of the other fake trailers were included when the features were released individually.

In reaction to the possibility of a split in a foreign release, Tarantino stated "Especially if they were dealing with non-English language countries, they don't really have this tradition ... not only do they not really know what a grind house is, they don't even have the double feature tradition. So you are kind of trying to teach us something else." Many European fans saw the split as an attempt to increase profits by forcing audiences to pay twice for what was shown as a single film in the United States.

In the United Kingdom, Death Proof was released on September 21, 2007. The release of Planet Terror followed on November 9. Death Proof was screened in Europe in the extended version that was presented in competition at the Cannes film festival. The additional material includes scenes that were replaced in the American theatrical release version with a "missing reel" title card, such as the lap dance scene. A total of about 27 minutes were added for this version. Between March and June 2008, the US theatrical version of Grindhouse had limited screenings at select cinemas.

In Australia, the edited version of Death Proof was first screened on November 1, 2007 as a separate film. However, from January 17, 2008, Grindhouse had limited screenings. In April 2008, Grindhouse was screened by Dendy Cinemas in one venue at a time across the country, through the use of a traveling 35 mm reel.

Death Proof and Planet Terror were released separately on DVD in the United States. The trailers were omitted from both releases, with the exception of Machete. Death Proof was released on September 18, 2007, with Planet Terror following on October 16, 2007. Both were two-disc special editions featuring extended versions of the films. Robert Rodriguez stated in his 10 Minute Film School that a box set of the two films would be available soon, and that his 10 Minute Cook School would appear on it. This release would also reportedly include Hobo with a Shotgun. A six-DVD edition of the film was released on March 21, 2008 in Japan, featuring the films in both their individual extended versions and in the abridged double feature presentation along with previously-unreleased special features.

Planet Terror and Death Proof were released individually on Blu-ray Disc on December 16, 2008 in North America. The Blu-ray edition of Planet Terror also contained a "scratch-free" version of the film that removed much of the damage effects, while the Blu-ray edition of Death Proof only contained the "damaged" version of the film. The theatrical version of Grindhouse is set for a Region 2 DVD release in Germany on January 7, 2009.

Cable channel Starz aired Grindhouse on March 31, 2008. Prior to the debut on Starz, the theatrical cut was also available On Demand for those with a Starz subscription.

Rodriguez had announced plans to film an adaptation of Machete and release it by the time Planet Terror and Death Proof were released on DVD. However, Machete has yet to be completed. Electra and Elise Avellan, Rodriguez's nieces who play the Crazy Babysitter Twins in both films, have said their uncle wants to do a sequel featuring Machete and The Babysitter Twins, but are unclear when or if production would start. "Robert mentioned something about the end of the world and Hollywood action films, where we'd be trained in Mexico to come back here and fight," Electra Avellan told

To the top

Quentin Tarantino

Tarantino, Quentin (Scream1).jpg

Quentin Jerome Tarantino (born March 27, 1963) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, cinematographer and actor. He rose to fame in the early 1990s as an independent filmmaker whose films used nonlinear storylines and aestheticization of violence. His films include Reservoir Dogs (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), Jackie Brown (1997), Kill Bill (Vol. 1 2003, Vol. 2 2004) and Death Proof (2007). His films have earned him Academy, BAFTA and Palme d'Or Awards and he has been nominated for Emmy and Grammy Awards. In 2007, Total Film named him the 12th greatest director of all-time.

Tarantino is currently editing Inglourious Basterds, a World War II movie planned to be released at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2009.

Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, the son of Connie Zastoupil (née McHugh), a health care executive and nurse, and Tony Tarantino, an actor and amateur musician born in Queens, New York. Tarantino's father is part Italian and his mother is Irish with part Cherokee Native American ancestry. Dropping out of Narbonne High School in Harbor City, California at the age of 15, he went on to learn acting at the James Best Theatre Company. At the age of 22, he landed a job at the Manhattan Beach Video Archives, a now defunct video rental store in Manhattan Beach, California where he and fellow movie buffs like Roger Avary spent all day discussing and recommending films to customers such as actor Danny Strong.

After Tarantino met Lawrence Bender at a Hollywood party, Bender encouraged Tarantino to write a screenplay. In January 1992, Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs hit the Sundance Film festival. The film garnered critical acclaim and the director became a legend in the UK and the cult film circuit. Reservoir Dogs was a dialogue-driven heist movie that set the tone for his later films. Tarantino wrote the script in three and a half weeks and Bender forwarded it to director Monte Hellman. Hellman helped Tarantino to secure funding from Richard Gladstein at Live Entertainment (which later became Artisan). Harvey Keitel read the script and also contributed to funding, took a co-producer role, and a part in the movie.

Tarantino's screenplay True Romance was optioned and eventually released in 1993. The second script that Tarantino sold was Natural Born Killers, which was revised by Dave Veloz, Richard Rutowski and director Oliver Stone. Tarantino was given story credit, and wished the film well. Following the success of Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino was approached by Hollywood and offered numerous projects, including Speed and Men in Black. He instead retreated to Amsterdam to work on his script for Pulp Fiction.

After Pulp Fiction he directed episode four of Four Rooms, "The Man from Hollywood", a tribute to the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode that starred Steve McQueen. Four Rooms was a collaborative effort with filmmakers Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, and Robert Rodriguez. The film was very poorly received by critics and audiences. He appeared in and wrote the script for Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk Till Dawn, which saw mixed reviews from the critics yet led to two sequels, for which Tarantino and Rodriguez would only serve as executive producers.

Tarantino's third feature film was Jackie Brown (1997), an adaptation of Rum Punch, a novel by Elmore Leonard. A homage to blaxploitation films, it starred Pam Grier, who starred in many of that genre's films of the 1970s. He had then planned to make the war film provisionally titled Inglorious Bastards, but postponed it to write and direct Kill Bill (released as two films, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2), a highly stylized "revenge flick" in the cinematic traditions of Wuxia (Chinese martial arts), Jidaigeki (Japanese period cinema), Spaghetti Westerns and Italian horror or giallo. It was based on a character (The Bride) and a plot that he and Kill Bill's lead actress, Uma Thurman, had developed during the making of Pulp Fiction. In 2004, Tarantino returned to Cannes where he served as President of the Jury. Kill Bill was not in competition, but it did screen on the final night in its original 3-hour-plus version.

The next project was Grindhouse, which he co-directed with Rodriguez. Released in theaters on April 6, 2007, Tarantino's contribution to the Grindhouse project was titled Death Proof. It began as a take on 1970s slasher films, but evolved dramatically as the project unfolded. Ticket sales were low despite mostly positive reviews.

Among his current producing credits are the horror flick Hostel (which included numerous references to his own Pulp Fiction), the adaptation of Elmore Leonard's Killshot (for which Tarantino was credited as an executive producer but with the movie set for release in 2009 he is no longer associated with the project) and Hell Ride (written and directed by Kill Bill star Larry Bishop). Tarantino is credited as "Special Guest Director" for his work directing the car sequence between Clive Owen and Benicio del Toro of Robert Rodriguez's 2005 neo-noir film Sin City.

Pulp Fiction won the Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) at the 1994 Cannes film festival. That film earned Tarantino and Roger Avary Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay, and was also nominated for Best Picture.

In 2005 Quentin Tarantino won the Icon of the Decade award at the Sony Ericsson Empire Awards.

On August 15, 2007, Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo presented Tarantino with a lifetime achievement award at the Malacañang Palace in Manila.

Tarantino finished writing Inglourious Basterds, the story of a group of guerrilla U.S. soldiers in Nazi occupied France during World War II. Filming began in October 2008 with a projected Summer 2009 release.

Before this project, Tarantino had considered making The Vega Brothers. The film would have starred Michael Madsen reprising the role of Vic (Mr. Blonde) from Reservoir Dogs and John Travolta reprising his role of Vincent from Pulp Fiction. He decided to abandon the project because of the age of the actors. In 2007, he claimed that the Vega Brothers project (which he intended to call Double V Vega) is "kind of unlikely now".

Tarantino has expressed interest in filming a much more faithful adaptation of the book Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis.

Tarantino divulged information about possible anime prequels to the Kill Bill films. These would probably center around the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad, Bill or The Bride before the events of the first two films. In a recent interview with The Telegraph he mentioned an idea for a form of spaghetti western set in America's Deep South which he calls "a southern." Stating that he wanted "to do movies that deal with America's horrible past with slavery and stuff but do them like spaghetti westerns, not like big issue movies. I want to do them like they're genre films, but they deal with everything that America has never dealt with because it's ashamed of it, and other countries don't really deal with because they don't feel they have the right to".

Tarantino confirmed at the 2008 Provincetown International Film Festival that a full length version of Kill Bill will be released and will hopefully contain an extended "anime" section that detailed the development of Lucy Liu's character.

The episode was delayed in being shown in the UK as the broadcast date coincided with the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London and it was felt that the depiction of a suicide bomber could cause offense. This double-length episode was released on DVD on October 10, 2005. Tarantino was nominated for an Emmy for this episode.

Tarantino directed an episode of ER called "Motherhood" that aired May 11, 1995, an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, and an episode of then-girlfriend Margaret Cho's show, All American Girl. He was featured as a guest judge on the televised singing competition American Idol for one episode during its third season. His reputation for creating memorable movie soundtracks was cited as qualifying him for the role.

Tarantino directed the season 20 (1994–1995 season) episode of the NBC sketch show Saturday Night Live hosted by John Travolta (musical guest: Seal), which featured a sketch called "Quentin Tarantino's Welcome Back, Kotter", a hybrid of the 1970s sitcom, Welcome Back, Kotter and Tarantino's film Reservoir Dogs. He also hosted an episode of SNL in season 21 (1995–1996 season) with musical guest The Smashing Pumpkins.

Tarantino was originally slated to direct an episode of the X-Files, but was prevented from doing so by the Directors Guild of America. The episode, titled "Never Again," featured Scully heading to Philadelphia while Mulder was on vacation, to talk to a man who claims his tattoo is talking to him. The episode was written specifically for Tarantino to direct. The DGA contended that Tarantino, who is not a member, failed to compensate the union for lost revenue as a result of his directorial work on ER.

Although Tarantino is best known for his work behind the camera, he appeared in his own films Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and Death Proof as minor characters, and co-starred alongside George Clooney in From Dusk Till Dawn. He has also appeared on the small screen in the first and third seasons of the TV show Alias. Tarantino once played an Elvis impersonator on an episode of The Golden Girls. He played cameo roles in Desperado (directed by his friend Robert Rodriguez), and Little Nicky (as a crazy, blind, apocalypse preacher). In 1998, he turned his attention to the Broadway stage, where he starred in a revival of Wait Until Dark. In November 2006, an episode of the Sundance Channel's Iconoclasts features Quentin Tarantino interviewing and spending time with singer Fiona Apple. Tarantino appeared briefly in the beginning of Spike Lee's film Girl 6. Tarantino had substantial screen-time in Grindhouse's double-features, Death Proof and Planet Terror, where he respectively takes on the roles of Warren, a bartender, and The Rapist, an infected member of a rogue military unit. He starred as Johnny Destiny in the film Destiny Turns on the Radio. In 2007 he had a small role as Ringo in the Takashi Miike film Sukiyaki Western: Django.

In recent years, Tarantino has used his Hollywood power to give smaller and foreign films arguably more attention than they would otherwise have received. These films are usually labeled "Presented by Quentin Tarantino" or "Quentin Tarantino Presents". The first of these productions was in 2001 with the Hong Kong martial arts film Iron Monkey which made over $14 million in the United States, seven times its budget. In 2004 he brought the Chinese martial arts film Hero to U.S. shores. It ended up having a #1 opening at the box office and making $53.5 million. In 2006, the latest "Quentin Tarantino presents" production, Hostel, opened at #1 at the box office with a $20.1 million opening weekend, good for 8th all time in January. He presented 2006's The Protector, and is a producer of the (2007) film Hostel: Part II.

Election isn't one of "Quentin Tarantino presents...", but Tarantino loved the film so much that he still helped the DVD release of the film in some way; his quote "The Best Film Of The Year" is on this film's United States DVD cover.

In addition, in 1995 Tarantino formed Rolling Thunder Pictures with Miramax as a vehicle to release or re-release several independent and foreign features. By 1997, Miramax shut down the company due to "lack of interest" in the pictures released. The following films were released by Rolling Thunder Pictures: Chungking Express (1994, dir. Wong Kar-Wai), Switchblade Sisters (1975, dir. Jack Hill), Sonatine (1993, dir. Takeshi Kitano), Hard Core Logo (1996, dir. Bruce McDonald), Mighty Peking Man (1977), Detroit 9000 (1973), The Beyond (1981, dir. Lucio Fulci) and Curdled (1996).

In the opening credits to Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, he omits his own credit as writer and director. Characters in nearly all of his movies have aliases. Examples include Honey Bunny and Pumpkin from Pulp Fiction, the heist crew in Reservoir Dogs, Stuntman Mike and Jungle Julia in Death Proof, and many different characters in Kill Bill. Most of his films feature a "Mexican standoff" scene, in which three or more characters are simultaneously pointing guns at each other. This is a reference to typical spaghetti westerns, especially those directed by Sergio Leone.

Tarantino's films are renowned for their sharp dialogue, splintered chronology, and pop culture obsessions. His films have copious amounts of both spattered and flowing blood that are graphically violent in an aestheticized sense. His depictions of violence have also been noted for their casualness and macabre humour, as well as for the tension and grittiness of these scenes.

In the 2002 Sight and Sound Directors' poll, Tarantino revealed his top-twelve films: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; Rio Bravo; Taxi Driver; His Girl Friday; Rolling Thunder; They All Laughed; The Great Escape; Carrie; Coffy; Dazed and Confused; Five Fingers of Death; and Hi Diddle Diddle.

He has been a supporter of Kevin Smith's work. Smith hit success with Clerks around the time Tarantino released Pulp Fiction. Tarantino cited Smith's Chasing Amy as his favorite movie of 1997. In one of the Train Wreck making-of shorts for Smith's Clerks II, he invited Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez to a private screening of the film at the View Askew offices.

In August 2007, while teaching a four-hour film course during the 9th Cinemanila International Film Festival in Manila, Tarantino cited Filipino directors Cirio Santiago, Eddie Romero, and Gerardo de León as personal icons from the 1970s, citing De Leon's "soul-shattering, life-extinguishing" movies on vampires and female bondage, particularly Women in Cages. "It is just harsh, harsh, harsh," he said, and described the final shot as one of "devastating despair".

Tarantino makes references to and features music from cult movies and television. He often features a character singing along to a song from the soundtrack, such as Mr. Blonde with "Stuck in the Middle With You" by Stealer's Wheel; Butch with "Flowers on the Wall" by The Statler Brothers; and Mia Wallace with "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" by Urge Overkill.

He will incorporate a scene in which music is heard to fade out completely before fading back in again (Diegetic music), such as in Reservoir Dogs with the ear scene wherein Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) walking to his car, then back inside to "Stuck in the Middle With You".

There are a variety of camera angles and types of shots that are considered typical of a Tarantino movie. He often frames characters with doorways and shows them opening and closing doors, and he often films characters from the back. He uses widely-imitated quick cuts of character's hands performing actions in extreme closeup, a technique reminiscent of Brian De Palma.

He will use a long closeup of a person's face while someone else speaks off-screen (closeup of The Bride while Bill talks, of Butch while Marsellus talks, Ted's face when Chester talks in Four Rooms). Although he did not invent it, Tarantino popularized the trunk shot, which is featured in Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, and Kill Bill. In Grindhouse (Death Proof feature), Tarantino's traditional shot looking up at the actors from the trunk of a car is replaced by one looking up from under the hood. Often he will shoot a character's feet during a key moment (such as the depressing of a car's pedals, as seen in Pulp Fiction).

Tarantino often makes minor connections between his films, usually by reusing names, locations, and fictional brand names and business. An example of this is Tarantino's assertion that John Travolta's character in Pulp Fiction, Vincent Vega, and Michael Madsen's character in Reservoir Dogs, Vic Vega, are brothers. Harvey Keitel's character in Reservoir Dogs, Larry Dimmick/Mr. White, is also said to be related to Tarantino's character in Pulp Fiction, Jimmie Dimmick. In Death Proof, the Twisted Nerve title theme, featured in Kill Bill: Vol. 1, can be heard as a ringtone. The character Sheriff Earl McGraw appears in both Kill Bill, Vol. 1 and Death Proof, as well as From Dusk Till Dawn (written, but not directed by Tarantino) and Planet Terror (written and directed by Robert Rodriguez). The name 'Alabama' was used in Reservoir Dogs as Harvey Keitel's former female partner in crime, and in Tarantino's screenplay for True Romance, in which it was the lead female character's name.

Almost all of his films are set in Los Angeles (Death Proof, Kill Bill and Inglourious Basterds being notable exceptions, although Kill Bill had a minor scene taking place in Los Angeles).

Tarantino is known to go out of his way to avoid placement of real products and/or places in his movies, often placing fake or long-since discontinued products in scenes when the situation calls for it. An ad for Jack Rabbit Slim's, the restaurant at which characters in Pulp Fiction dine, is heard shortly before Bruce Willis/Butch enters his apartment and kills John Travolta's character, Vincent Vega, and Red Apple cigarettes, the brand smoked by Bruce Willis/Butch and Mia Wallace (she reaches for the pack before Vincent gives her one) in Pulp Fiction has a prominent billboard in the subway in Kill Bill. Although Robert Rodriguez directed Planet Terror in Grindhouse, El Wray is tossed a pack of Red Apple cigarettes. In Death Proof, Abernathy asks Kim to get her a pack of Red Apple 'Tans' when she goes into the store. Tim Roth's Ted the Bellhop character has a half-smoked pack lying on a shelf near his belongings in Four Rooms. Freddy Rodriguez's character in Planet Terror is called El Wray, which is also the name of the place the Gecko Brothers are traveling to in Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk Till Dawn.

Big Kahuna Burger has been referenced in several of Tarantino's films. In Reservoir Dogs, Michael Madsen's Mr. Blond character shows up at the warehouse, the principal setting of the film, holding a soft drink from the burger joint. In Pulp Fiction, Samuel Jackson's character, Jules Winnfield, makes small talk about Big Kahuna Burger with Brett and his associates upon noticing food from there in the apartment. In From Dusk Till Dawn, Seth Gecko brings burgers from Big Kahuna Burger to the motel. Stuntman Mike from Death Proof also mentions Big Kahuna Burger in passing because Jungle Julia has a billboard next to it. In the final Four Rooms segment which Tarantino directed, Jennifer Beals's Angela character is seen sipping from a violet-colored soft-drink cup with a Big Kahuna Burger logo on it.

The cereal Fruit Brute (not fictional, but discontinued in 1983) is featured in Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and Kill Bill, Vol. 1. Also, in Grindhouse, there is an ad for a non-existent Mexican restaurant called "Acuña Boys," a name given a fleeting mention in Kill Bill, Vol. 2. Characters in Death Proof are seen drinking sodas from cups with the restaurant's logo on them. A character from Jackie Brown, Sheronda has a cup with the Acuña Boys logo on it as well.

While in general film characters are rarely shown using the bathroom, Tarantino often includes a toilet scene (e.g. Tim Roth in Reservoir Dogs, John Travolta and Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction, Christian Slater in True Romance, Juliette Lewis in From Dusk Till Dawn, Uma Thurman in Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Daryl Hannah in Kill Bill Vol. 2). In Death Proof, both Vanessa Ferlito and Rosario Dawson mention that they have to go to the toilet as well as Amanda Plummer aka Honey Bunny, "I gotta go pee!" in the final scene of Pulp Fiction.

He often includes characters dressed in black suits with white shirts and black ties: the thieves in Reservoir Dogs, John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction, Pam Grier in Jackie Brown (without a tie), the Gecko brothers in From Dusk Till Dawn, the crazy 88s in Kill Bill Vol. 1. It is stated on the fact commentary on the Pulp Fiction DVD that he uses the black suits as the standard outfit that his characters wear in the way that other directors have certain outfits for their characters, like Leone's main characters usually wearing dusters.

His films often contain lines of dialogue in which a character rhymes when talking. For instance in Kill Bill vol. 1 a character introduces himself by saying: "My name is Buck, and I'm here to fuck" (which is also Robert Englund's first line in Tobe Hooper's Eaten Alive) or, in Pulp Fiction, Jules Winnefield lies: "My name's Pitt, and your ass ain't talking your way out of this shit." Also in Pulp Fiction, a bartender tells Vincent Vega "My name is Paul, and that shit's between y'all." Yet another example is when Tim Roth´s character tells Samuel L. Jackson´s in Pulp Fiction: "If you don´t take your hand off that case, then I´ma unload in your fucking face." In Kill Bill Vol. 2, Michael Madsen's character Budd says to a tied and injured Beatrix (Uma Thurman) "Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey" to wake her up.

Stanley Kubrick's The Killing is a direct influence on the fractured narrative structure (Lionel White, author of the novel Clean Break on which The Killing was based, was given a dedication in the end credits of Reservoir Dogs) while the idea of the color-coded criminals is taken from The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. The infamous ear-cutting scene in Reservoir Dogs resembles a scene in Sergio Corbucci's 1966 Spaghetti Western classic Django, in which a man's ear is cut off and fed to him before he is shot dead.

The Don Siegel version of The Killers played an influence on Pulp Fiction, and the events of the adrenaline-injection scene closely resemble a story related in Martin Scorsese's documentary American Boy: A Profile of Steven Prince. The line about going "to work on homes here with a pair of pliers and a blow torch" is similar to "You know what kind of people they are. They'll strip you naked and go to work on you with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch" from another Don Siegel film, 1973's Charley Varrick.

The intro titles to Jackie Brown are a careful homage to the intro titles to The Graduate.

Kill Bill Vol. 1 is heavily influenced by the 1973 Toshiya Fujita film Lady Snowblood, in addition to some shots being virtually identical to those in Branded to Kill. The fighting scene where The Bride duels as back lit silhouettes is almost a direct copy of a similar scene in the 1998 Hiroyuki Nakano film Samurai Fiction. The Superman monologue delivered at the end of Kill Bill Vol. 2 was inspired by a passage from Jules Feiffer's 1965 book, The Great Comic Book Heroes, which Tarantino confirmed in a 2004 interview with Entertainment Weekly.

In Tarantino's Death Proof, he pays homage to 1970's sleazy exploitations car chase movies.

The influence of African American culture is apparent in much of Tarantino's work, arguably more than Asian culture, which was more prevalent in the Kill Bill series. His references to blaxploitation films and soul music are complimentary tributes.

Tarantino has defended his use of the word, arguing that black audiences have an appreciation of his blaxploitation-influenced films that eludes some of his critics, and, indeed, that Jackie Brown, another oft-cited example, was primarily made for "black audiences".

Tarantino worked in a video rental store prior to becoming a filmmaker, paid close attention to the types of films people liked to rent, and has cited that experience as inspiration for his directorial career. Tarantino has been romantically linked with numerous entertainers, including actress Mira Sorvino, directors Allison Anders and Sofia Coppola, actresses Julie Dreyfus and Shar Jackson and comedians Kathy Griffin and Margaret Cho. There have also been rumors about his relationship with Uma Thurman, whom he has referred to as his "muse". However, Tarantino has gone on record as saying that their relationship is strictly platonic. He has never married and has no children.

One of Tarantino's closest friends is fellow director Robert Rodriguez (the pair often refer to each other as brothers). Their biggest collaborations have been From Dusk Till Dawn (written by Tarantino, directed by Rodriguez), Four Rooms (they both wrote and directed segments of the film), Sin City and Grindhouse. It was Tarantino who suggested that Rodriguez name the final part of his El Mariachi trilogy Once Upon a Time in Mexico, as a homage to the titles Once Upon a Time in the West and Once Upon A Time In America by Sergio Leone. They are both members of A Band Apart, a production company that also features directors John Woo and Luc Besson. Rodriguez scored Kill Bill: Volume 2 for one dollar, and the favor was returned in kind, with Tarantino directing a scene in Rodriguez's 2005 film Sin City for the same fee. Rodriguez was responsible for introducing Tarantino to digital cinematography. Prior to this, Tarantino was a vocal supporter of using traditional film.

Tarantino is a friend of Japanese director Takashi Miike, whom he asked to perform a cameo in Eli Roth's film Hostel. As a favor for Miike doing so, Tarantino appears in the opening action sequence of Miike's movie Sukiyaki Western: Django, released in August 2007.

In a Playboy interview, he talked of smoking cannabis and using ecstasy while filming Kill Bill.

He was thanked in the liner notes of Nirvana's final studio album In Utero although the spelling of his name is incorrect. Tarantino returned the favor by thanking Nirvana on the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, along with the message "RIP Kurt".

To the top

Men in Black II

Men in Black II Poster.jpg

Men in Black II (also known as MIIB) is a 2002 science fiction comedy action film starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. The movie also stars Lara Flynn Boyle, Johnny Knoxville, Rosario Dawson and Rip Torn. It is the sequel to Men in Black, based on the Malibu comic book series The Men in Black by Lowell Cunningham.

Five years after the events of the earlier film, Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) has assumed civilian life as a small town's postmaster while Agent J (Will Smith) continues to work for the Men in Black, the self-funded New York City-based agency that secretly monitors and regulates extraterrestrials' activity on Earth. J is largely without a partner, his former partner Agent L having returned to her former task as a deputy medical examiner and her successors having been expelled from the agency by J himself. While investigating a seemingly routine crime, J uncovers a diabolical plot by Serleena, a sadistic, shapeshifting Kylothian queen who disguises herself as a lingerie model, but resembles a Lernean hydra in her own form. To circumvent her plans, J must convince K — who has no memory of his time spent with the agency, but is the only person alive who knows what is needed to defeat Serleena — to reunite with the MIB before Earth is destroyed.

A large part of the plot centers on Agent J's relationship with a woman called Laura Vasquez (Rosario Dawson), a waitress at a SoHo pizzeria who witnesses Serleena's killing of the pizzeria's owner. Rather than erase her memory according to MIB rules, J allows her to retain it. As Laura becomes increasingly involved in the battle between Serleena and the MIB, she comes to view Agent J as her protector, while he simultaneously falls in love with her. When J tries to deneuralyze K, MIB is put into lockdown and they are ejected from the building. He then takes K to Jack Jeebs (Tony Shalhoub), who built an unofficial deneuralyzer. Although K regains his memory, he reveals that he still has no memory of the "Light of Zartha" but left himself a series of clues in case he needed to remember.

Ultimately, Laura's true identity is revealed as an extraterrestrial princess and power-source styled the "Light of Zartha". This revelation requires her to return to Zartha, her ancestral homeworld. Serleena, who has been seeking all along to find and possess the Light of Zartha, is killed just as Laura is transported away. Agent K is said to have had a romantic attachment to Laura's mother Laurana, after whom she is named, who was killed by Serleena twenty-five years before the film's story began; as a result, there is an implication that Agent K may be Laura's father, although this is never made explicit. When Laura has gone, K and Agent Zed (the head of MIB) attempt to console J for his loss, only to have him answer that he needs no consolation, having accepted her departure without much sorrow. Since people all over New York City have witnessed these events, an emergency neuralizer built into the Statue of Liberty is used to erase everyone's memory.

Two other plot threads relate the interaction of J with Frank the Pug (an extraterrestrial refugee posing as a pug dog, who becomes J's partner early in the film) and the revelation that K keeps a race of minuscule extraterrestrials inside a storage locker at Grand Central Terminal, the locker encasing their whole world. At the end of the film, K knocks open a forbidden door to reveal that a much larger locker located in a larger version of Grand Central Station contains the human world.

Despite some initial involvement from David Koepp (who left to work on Spider-Man), the script was written by Robert Gordon and later revised by Barry Fanaro (who added humorous pop culture references, something which Gordon had deliberately avoided). Sonnenfeld took issue with the producers' focus on the love story between Will Smith's and Rosario Dawson's characters, saying that "I learned on Wild Wild West that audiences didn't want to see Will as the straight man. And until Tommy comes back into the movie, by definition Will's the straight man." Fanaro condensed the first part of the film and brought Agent Kay in earlier.

The climax of the film was originally to have taken place at New York City's World Trade Center. However, this had to be changed following the destruction of the buildings in the September 11, 2001 attacks. The day after September 11, a spokesperson for the studio said that the ending would be refilmed.

For the special effects scene where the subway train is attacked by Jeff the Worm, a specially designed vise was used to crush a subway car and make it look as if it had been bitten in half.

A New York Times review said that, "Within the trivial, ingratiating scope of its ambition, though, the sequel is pleasant enough," and, noting the huge array of aliens designed by Rick Baker, said that the film "really belongs to Mr. Baker." A review in The Hindu called the film "worth viewing once." Another review from Digital Media FX Magazine praised the spaceships as looking very realistic, but criticized many of the simpler visual effects such as the moving backgrounds composited behind the car windows using blue-screen (which it called a throwback to the special effects of earlier decades). In August of 2002, Entertainment Weekly placed the Worm Guys among their list of the best CG characters, and said that the enlarged roles of both Frank the Pug and the Worm Guys in Men in Black II was beneficial for the "tiring franchise".

Following the success of the first Men in Black, the sequel was also a commercial success, although not to the extent of the original. It grossed $52,148,751 on its opening weekend, and after the film's 62 days-release it grossed $190,418,803 in the United States and $251,400,000 overseas, for a total gross of $441,818,803.

In 2005, Variety magazine mentioned that Sony was in talks with director Michael Bay to direct Men In Black III. Will Smith has expressed interest in returning for a third film.

To the top

Kids (film)

Kids film.jpg

Kids is a 1995 American drama film written by Harmony Korine and directed by Larry Clark. The film features Chloë Sevigny, Leo Fitzpatrick, Justin Pierce and Rosario Dawson, most of them in their debut performances. The film is centered on a day in the life of a group of sexually active teenagers in New York City and their unrestrained behavior towards sex and drugs during the era of HIV in the mid-1990s.

Kids created considerable controversy upon its release in 1995, and caused much public debate over its artistic merit, even receiving an NC-17 rating from the MPAA. It was later released without a rating.

The opening scene shows 17-year-old Telly (Leo Fitzpatrick) and a 12-year-old girl kissing. Using sweet-talk and adulation, Telly convinces the virginal girl to have sex with him. Afterwards, he leaves, and meets his friend Casper (Justin Pierce). As they walk along the sidewalk, Telly tells Casper about his sexual experience in graphic terms. They go inside a local store, and Casper shoplifts another malt liquor as Telly distracts the Asian cashier. They then steal a peach, using the same set-up just outside the store from a sidewalk display. They head to a friend's apartment, though they express dislike towards him on the way there. At this point, the pair want drugs and food. They arrive at Paul's house, inhale nitrous oxide out of balloons, talk about sex, and smoke marijuana while skater videos play on TV. This scene then intercuts with a scene in which a group of girls talk about sex, contradicting what the boys say, especially about oral sex. Both Ruby (Rosario Dawson) and Jennie (Chloë Sevigny) are introduced during the conversation.

Ruby and Jennie discuss that they were recently tested for STDs at Ruby's request. Ruby's test is negative, even though she has had many sexual encounters and many of the times were unprotected. However, Jennie tests positive for HIV, much to her shock, since she claims to have had sex only once, with Telly. Jennie spends the rest of the film trying to find Telly, who has taken to only having sex with virgins on the premise that he cannot get STDs this way. Later, Telly and Casper walk to Telly's house. When they arrive, they steal money from Telly's mother. They go to Washington Square Park, meet up with a Rastafarian man, and discreetly buy a "dime bag" of marijuana from him. They then meet up with a few friends (one of whom gives a blunt-rolling tutorial) to talk and smoke. Casper starts to ride on a skateboard and carelessly bumps into a man, who threatens him. The man is immediately struck in the back of the head with a skateboard by Harold (Harold Hunter), a friend of Telly and Casper's, causing him to collapse. Seizing the opportunity, many of Casper's friends join in, kicking and hitting him until he is unconscious and covered with blood, and then Telly spits on the man's bloody face.

Telly and the group from the park pick up a thirteen-year-old girl named Darcy (Yakira Peguero). She is the younger sister of an acquaintance and Telly is very interested, as she is a virgin. He convinces her to sneak out and join Casper and some girls at a pool. The other girls engage in pseudo-lesbian kissing and flirtation, but Darcy is restrained (though not shocked at the others' behavior). Telly and the group go to Steven's house to smoke, drink and talk about sex. Meanwhile, Jennie wanders down to a rave trying to find Telly, but instead bumps into "Fidget" (the film's writer Harmony Korine), who gives her "a euphoric blockbuster drug that is supposed to make 'special K' look weak." After taking the drug, which is never named, but has effects similar to a depressant such as GHB or rohypnol, she finds out that Telly is (at what has now become a party) at Steven's place. We see the girl, high and with her young life in shambles, riding in a taxi.

The movie is filmed in a pseudo-documentary style, although all of the scenes are scripted.

In Kids, Larry Cramer cast New York City "street" kids with no previous acting experience in the film, notably Leo Fitzpatrick (Telly) and the late Justin Pierce (Casper). Some have faded back into relative obscurity; meanwhile, others, such as Rosario Dawson (Rent, Sin City, Men in Black II, Alexander) and Academy Award-nominee Chloë Sevigny (Boys Don't Cry, American Psycho, Big Love, Party Monster), have since found success in their acting careers as well-recognized actresses. Jon Abrahams also continues acting and starred in a string of successful movies including The Faculty, Boston Public, Scary Movie, and Meet the Parents. In addition, the film's writer, Harmony Korine, makes a cameo in the club scene with Jennie, as the kid wearing glasses and a Nuclear Assault shirt who gives her drugs, though the part is credited to his brother Avi. Pierce appeared in a number of movies until committing suicide in 2000.

Harmony Korine reportedly wrote the screenplay for the movie in 1993, at the age of 18. Gus Van Sant had originally been attached to the film as a producer. After insufficient interest had been generated in the film, he left the project; under incoming producer Cary Woods, the project found sufficient independent funding for the film. Harvey Weinstein of Miramax, wary of (or perhaps even pressured by) the parent Walt Disney Company's opinion of the risky screenplay, declined to involve Disney in funding the production of the film. After Woods showed him the final cut, however, Harvey and his brother, Bob Weinstein, bought the distribution rights to the film on their own, without Miramax/Disney money (as they did for Fahrenheit 9/11).

The film depicts undisguised habitual and social use of profanity, marijuana, alcohol, nitrous oxide, tobacco, and the drug ecstasy. The original version of the film was rated NC-17 in the US. It was later released without a rating. Because of its unexpurgated subject matter centering on relatively young teenagers, the film has been controversial, having received mixed reviews, with 55 percent of critics giving it a positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes. The movie includes much explicit sexual dialogue, and depicts scenes of date rape, physical violence, drug dealing, theft, seduction of barely post-pubertal minors, and (non-explicit) teenage sexual displays, as well as (apparently) adolescent actors/actresses in near but not quite explicit exposure. Film critic Janet Maslin of the New York Times called the film a "wake-up call to the modern world" about the nature of present day youth in urban life. Meanwhile, other critics have labeled it exploitative (in the lascivious sense) as borderline "child pornography".

Miramax, which was owned by Disney, paid $3.5 million to buy the worldwide distribution rights of this film.

Harvey and Bob Weinstein (the co-chairman of Miramax) were forced to buy back the film from Disney, and created Shining Excalibur Films, a one-off studio name to release the film, due to Disney's policy forbidding the release of NC-17 rated movies. Eamonn Bowles was hired to be the chief operating officer of Shining Excalibur Films.

The film, which was made on a budget of $1.5 million USD, grossed $7.4 million in the United States, and $7.6 million internationally. According to Peter Biskind's book Down and Dirty Pictures, Eamonn Bowles has stated that Harvey and Bob Weinstein may have each personally profited up to $2 million each.

To the top

Seven Pounds

Seven Pounds poster.jpg

Seven Pounds is a 2008 film, directed by Gabriele Muccino. Will Smith stars as a man who sets out to change the lives of seven people. Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, and Barry Pepper also star. The film was released in theaters in the United States and Canada on December 19, 2008 by Columbia Pictures.

Two years ago Tim Thomas (Will Smith) was in a car crash, which was caused by him using his mobile phone; seven people died: six strangers and his fiancée, Sarah Jenson (Robinne Lee).

A year after the crash, and having quit his job as an aeronautical engineer, Tim donates a lung lobe to his brother, Ben (Michael Ealy), an IRS employee. Six months later he donates part of his liver to a child services worker named Holly (Judyann Elder). After that he begins searching for more candidates to receive donations. He finds George (Bill Smitrovich), a junior hockey coach, and donates a kidney to him, and then donates bone marrow to a young boy named Nicholas (Quintin Kelley).

Two weeks before he dies he contacts Holly and asks if she knows anyone who deserves help. She suggests Connie Tepos (Elpidia Carrillo), who lives with an abusive boyfriend. Tim moves out of his house and into a local motel taking with him his pet box jellyfish. One night, after being beaten, Connie contacts Tim and he gives her the keys and deed to his beach house. She takes her two children and moves in to their new home.

Having stolen his brother's credentials, and making himself known by his brother's name Ben, he checks out candidates for his two final donations. The first is Ezra Turner (Woody Harrelson), a blind meat salesman who plays the piano. Tim calls Ezra Turner and harasses him at work to check if he is quick to anger. Ezra remains calm and Tim decides he is worthy.

He then contacts Emily Posa (Rosario Dawson), a self-employed greeting card printer who has a heart condition and a rare blood type. He spends time with her, weeding her garden and fixing her rare Heidelberg printer. He begins to fall in love with her and decides that as her condition has worsened he needs to make his donation.

His brother tracks him down to Emily's house. Ben then demands that Tim return his IRS ID to him. Tim leaves and returns to the motel. He fills the bathtub with ice water to preserve his vital organs, climbs in, and then commits suicide by pulling his extremely poisonous jellyfish into the water with him. His friend Dan (Barry Pepper) acts as executor to ensure that his organs are donated to Emily and Ezra. Ezra Turner receives his corneas and Emily receives his heart. Afterwards, Emily meets Ezra at a concert and they begin to talk.

Seven Pounds is based on a script written by Grant Nieporte under Columbia Pictures. In June 2006, Will Smith joined the studio to star in the planned film and to serve as one of its producers. In September 2007, director Gabriele Muccino, who worked with Smith on The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), was attached to direct Seven Pounds, bringing along his creative team from the 2006 film. Smith was joined by Rosario Dawson and Woody Harrelson the following December to star in Seven Pounds. Filming began in February 2008.

Smith felt that the character needed to be a quiet and rather introverted person who does not burn himself out at every possible instance. The character was a contrast to Smith's previous characters, and Smith felt that director Gabriele Muccino's trust in him helped him relax and avoid overextending himself. Smith acknowledged Seven Pounds as a drama film, but he saw it as more of a love story.

Also in the film are Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, Barry Pepper, Robinne Lee and Michael Ealy. Will Smith handpicked Ealy for the role of the main character's brother. Connor Cruise, the 15-year-old adopted son of actor Tom Cruise and actress Nicole Kidman, was cast in his first role as a younger version of Tim Thomas.

Prior to the film's release, the title Seven Pounds was considered a "mystery" which the studio refused to explain. Early trailers for Seven Pounds also kept the film's details a mystery. Director Gabriele Muccino explained the intent: "The will not know exactly what this man is up to." Will Smith is reported to have confirmed that the title refers to Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice, in which a debtor must pay a pound of flesh. In this case it amounts to parts of his body donated to seven persons deemed worthy by Smith's character. They are the recipients of his heart, a lung, part of his liver, and his eyes, among other things.

Seven Pounds was promoted on a five-city tour across the United States in November 2008, screening in Cleveland, Miami, Dallas, St. Louis, and Denver to raise funds for food banks in each region. The film was also promoted at a charity screening in Minneapolis in support of Second Harvest Heartland. Since screenings of new films usually took place in Los Angeles or New York City, the choice of cities was unconventional. Smith said, "This is more like the old-school music tours. Different clubs, different cities, meeting people. You get in touch with what people are feeling and thinking, and it's much more personal when you're actually out shaking hands." The actor sought to "get reacquainted" with an America that he felt had an "openness to change" with the country's election of Barack Obama as the first African-American president.

The film was released on December 19, 2008 in 2,758 theaters in the United States and Canada. It grossed an estimated $16 million, placing second at the weekend box office after Yes Man. The opening gross was the lowest for a film starring Smith since Ali in 2001. The gross was also $5 million less than anticipated, partially ascribed to winter storms in the Northeast over the weekend. According to studio research, 64% of the audience was over 25 years old, and 55% were female.

Critics have given the film generally negative reviews. The movie website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 28% of critics gave the film positive write-ups based upon a sample of 130 with an average score of 4.7/10. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has received an average score of 36 based on 31 reviews.

Positive reviews singled out Dawson's performance; Richard Corliss wrote in Time that Dawson gives "a lovely performance," while Mick LaSalle of The San Francisco Chronicle noted that Dawson's performance "shows once again that she has it in her to be a powerhouse." Readers of the movie's page at the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) have given the movie a fairly positive rating, but not enough to make the site's Top 250 list.

To the top

Source : Wikipedia