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Caught 1994's Wolf on Showtime on Demand shortly after midnight last night. It's an odd film. It's a horror film about werewolves mixed with romance and a business satire plus midlife crisis film. The script was considered big trouble and Elaine May wrote most of the finished script uncredited (add to that casting troubles; Mia Farrow was originally cast as a character who offscreen becomes werewolf chow, but Columbia Pictures forced her to be fired from the thankless role, claiming she was toxic to their film's potential box office opportunities [this was around the same time they terminated Woody Allen's contract as well]; Kate Nelligan was cast instead). It's an oddly staid film for its genre as director Mike Nichols cuts away from the violence quickly or leaves it offscreen. What does work in the film is largely the first half of the film which does not rely on goofy makeup and is a sharp satire on the dog-eat-dog world of publishing, with some great sharp lines. Jack Nicholson and James Spader both  give extremely good performances. Sturdy score by Ennio Morricone. Its definitely a classy looking film, but you can feel while watching it that Nichols wanted less werewolf stuff and more straight up drama/satire.

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11 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

Caught 1994's Wolf on Showtime on Demand shortly after midnight last night. It's an odd film. It's a horror film about werewolves mixed with romance and a business satire plus midlife crisis film. The script was considered big trouble and Elaine May wrote most of the finished script uncredited (add to that casting troubles; Mia Farrow was originally cast as a character who offscreen becomes werewolf chow, but Columbia Pictures forced her to be fired from the thankless role, claiming she was toxic to their film's potential box office opportunities [this was around the same time they terminated Woody Allen's contract as well]; Kate Nelligan was cast instead). It's an oddly staid film for its genre as director Mike Nichols cuts away from the violence quickly or leaves it offscreen. What does work in the film is largely the first half of the film which does not rely on goofy makeup and is a sharp satire on the dog-eat-dog world of publishing, with some great sharp lines. Jack Nicholson and James Spader both  give extremely good performances. Sturdy score by Ennio Morricone. Its definitely a classy looking film, but you can feel while watching it that Nichols wanted less werewolf stuff on more straight up drama/satire.

I don't even remember this Mike Nichol's film. I assume it flopped?

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4 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I don't even remember this Mike Nichol's film. I assume it flopped?

It did moderately well in 1994. Didn't bring in enough around the world to double back its $70 million dollar budget (Nichols, Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, Spader, Nelligan, and Christopher Plummer don't come cheap), but came awfully close: $131 million worldwide, $65 million of that coming in the domestic Box Office, placing it as #19 among 1994 films in terms of revenue . In today's money, that domestic take would be around $122 million; not bad. 

1994's revenue rankings in the domestic market... talk about erratic quality wise.

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19 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I don't even remember this Mike Nichol's film. I assume it flopped?

It did ....big time the movie cost $70 millions  not counting publicity,foreign money counts as roughly 40% of $ take,they lost a lot of money it needed to do at least 250 millions worldwide to cover so a big stiff

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Just now, LornaHansonForbes said:

(Paraphrased from memory)

” Why the **** did Michelle Pfeiffer take that role in WOLF?  It’s a horrible part. There’s nothing to it. It’s the kind of role *I’d* play.”

- MIMI ROGERS

The role was reportedly even worse and even thinner before Elaine May's rewrite. Sharon Stone turned down the film cold.

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Licorice Pizza (2021) Theater-8/10

A 25 year old woman is drawn into the schemes of a 15 year old actor.

This set in the 1970s and feels like it was made in that decade. Which is why I liked it so much. There is no conventional plot, we just follow the characters into what ever they decide to do at the time. Newcomers Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman (Philip Seymour Hoffman's son) are excellent in the leads. There are many hints to certain actors and movies of the time that only film buffs will notice. Hoffman talks of a movie he made called "Under One Roof" which is a spoof of Yours Mine And Ours (1968) , Christine Ebersole does a hilarious take off on Lucille Ball although the character is called Lucy Doolittle. And Sean Penn plays an old time actor named Jack Holden, though it is obvious he is based on William Holden. Bradley Cooper plays Jon Peters, the only time someone plays a real person with their real name. It is surprising since it makes him look like an intimidating jerk.

Anyway if you like 1970s films like the ones from Robert Altman or Hal Ashby, I recommend you see this one.

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KATE NELLIGANS part is even worse though, and it’s a shame because she’s a very good actress.

(spoiler) She doesn’t even get a death scene, it’s just mentioned that she’s been killed a third of the way and through the movie and they plow on. The role feels like it was cut down.

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3 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

OH WOW IT REALLY MUSTVE BEEN BAD FOR SHARON TO SAY “No” outright!!!!

Yeah. I should know. I saw Sliver.  :unsure:

 

1 minute ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

KATE NELLIGANS part is even worse though, and it’s a shame because she’s a very good actress.

(spoiler) She doesn’t even get a death scene, it’s just mentioned that she’s been killed a third of the way and through the movie and they plow on. The role feels like it was cut down.

That was originally Mia Farrow's part before Columbia yanked her off the film.  i attribute her lack of a death scene to Nichols. He only signed onto the film to work with Nicholson again, and he was never comfortable with the werewolf gore or transformation scenes.

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12 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I will never forget going to see Wolf in the summer of 1994, the movie wasn’t so great but when my friend and I got home the O.J. Simpson Freeway chase has just started on television.

Wow. That was some crazy day; also secondly, it seems you saw the film Wolf on its opening day. It was released in theatres that very day (June 17). 

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15 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I will never forget going to see Wolf in the summer of 1994, the movie wasn’t so great but when my friend and I got home the O.J. Simpson Freeway chase has just started on television.

I DO remember that!

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1 hour ago, CinemaInternational said:

Jack Nicholson and James Spader both  give extremely good performances. Sturdy score by Ennio Morricone. Its definitely a classy looking film, but you can feel while watching it that Nichols wanted less werewolf stuff and more straight up drama/satire.

I remember  it just the way you describe it. The first half very clever stuff about publishing, and then it's a not-scary horror movie and finally a very ho-hum love story.  Yet it wasn't terrible, I guess good writers can only be so bad.  

My lasting memory of it is James Spader as a particularly uncouth wolf-man sniffing a woman from top to bottom in the office lobby.  I've always liked him.

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1 hour ago, CinemaInternational said:

Wow. That was some crazy day; also secondly, it seems you saw the film Wolf on its opening day. It was released in theatres that very day (June 17). 

Yes, I was a hardcore MICHELLE PFEIFFER STAN, had been since BATMAN RETURNS. 
 

I made it a point to be there for her on opening day.

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1 hour ago, CinemaInternational said:

Wow. That was some crazy day; also secondly, it seems you saw the film Wolf on its opening day. It was released in theatres that very day (June 17). 

You have no idea HOW crazy...  😮

ESPN 30 for 30 Documentaries:  June 17 1994

(It's impossible to watch without a deep sense of tragic irony near the end, when the Talking Heads kick in on the soundtrack around the 48:00 mark. 😢  )

 

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