Films featuring
Christopher Walken

Man of the Year

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This film probably would have been better off waiting until this year to see the light of day. Not only is this film more appropriate to a time when the list of people not running for President is almost shorter than the list of people running, but it would have given writer and director Barry Levinson an extra year to decide exactly what film he wanted to make and actually get it right.

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The Dead Zone

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I don’t know why, but over the years, the best films based on the works of Stephen King have been those based on material that didn’t fit into the stereotypical mold of the horror-meister, like Stand by Me, Misery and David Cronenerg’s adaptation of The Dead Zone. The straight spook-and-slash flicks have been cranked out by hacks who lean entirely on the gooey red stuff and toss King’s characterization and texture over the side. On the other end of the spectrum was Stanley Kubrick’s arid interpretation of The Shining, where the director’s distance from the material could be measured in light-years.

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Wedding Crashers

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This is one of those unfortunate comedies where the concept is actually funnier than the execution. It’s a shame, too, given the cast they had at their disposal. I’m sure the pitch sessions for this movie were a riot. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson crashing weddings to pick up women? Christopher Walken as the Secretary of the Treasury? Hilarity must inevitably ensue, right?

Unfortunately, no. Continue reading

Batman Returns

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Following the huge success of Tim Burton’s Batman, a sequel was inevitable. It’s also clear that Burton was allowed a lot more creative leeway in directing Batman Returns than he had on the first film. The 1989 film had scattered touches of the director’s off-center visual sensibilities, but the 1992 sequel was set in a world that was Burton-esque from wall to wall.

To try to top Jack Nicholson’s balls-to-the-wall portrayal of the Joker, Returns gives us three, count ’em, three villains for our movie-going bucks. The Penguin (Danny DeVito), Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Max Shreck (Christopher Walken). You would think with this kind of A-List talent on hand, however, that Batman Returns would bat better than .333 in the villain department. Of the three, only Catwoman manages to emerge as a full-blooded character.

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