Tuesday, November 26, 2013
10 Directors Who Need to Work More
Joe Dante doesn't need to "work" more. He's working all the time, whether it's any of the number of projects he constantly has in development or on Trailers from Hell, his brilliant website that features classic trailers and filmmakers talking about them. What I mean is that I wish there were more movies directed by Joe Dante, particularly in the last 15 or so years. Since making the underrated Looney Tunes: Back in Action for Warner Bros. in 2003 (a bad experience as Dante has told it), he has directed two episodes of Masters of Horror and only one feature, The Hole, which went unreleased in the United States for several years (Europe got to see it) before finally getting a very limited run in a few theaters and on VOD last year. The good news is that it was just announced Dante is directing another movie: Burying the Ex, a horror comedy starring Anton Yelchin and Ashley Greene. That can't come out soon enough.
Bubba Ho-Tep. The money fell through at the very last minute and the world was denied an extra Don Coscarelli movie. Very few filmmakers make genre movies that are equal parts weird, funny and smart the way he does. His is such a distinct voice of which Hollywood needs more.
Woody Allen at his best, Nicole Holofcener makes smart, literate movies about characters talking to one another (there's a reason her first movie is even called Walking and Talking; it's as much a comment on the '90s indie scene as it is a career statement). So why can't she crank out a movie once a year like Woody Allen? Oh, right. Quality control. Holofcener works at roughly the same pace as most other filmmakers -- she releases a film every couple of years -- but I selfishly want her to make them more quickly. Though her budgets are low, I can't imagine it's too easy for her to secure budgets, as her movies aren't conventionally commercial anymore (they don't have enough superheroes in them). But she continues to attract incredible actors, many of whom do some of their best work for her. Between movies, she directs episodic television, but that's not the same. Those aren't in her voice.
on record as calling Quentin Tarantino my favorite director. He also works very, very slowly. Obviously, I'm glad that Tarantino takes his time. There is a reason that every Stanley Kubrick movie is a masterpiece. There is a reason that Terrence Malick's output only started to suffer once he started working more quickly. It's impossible to say if working faster would damage the quality of Tarantino's work (though I was very skeptical of how Inglourious Basterds would turn out when he announced how quickly that was going to come together and look how THAT turned out), but I'm not willing to risk it. His movies spend so many years working themselves out in his head that the actual production doesn't need to take as much time; they should keep coming out only when they're good and ready. It's just a bummer for those of us who need a more regular fix.
Action Jackson, I Come in Peace and Stone Cold) before switching almost exclusively to television. He worked on a couple of made-for-TV Stephen King adaptations (including Storm of the Century, Rose Madder and the short-lived Kingdom Hospital, but Baxley's theatrical days appear to be behind him. That sucks. With the action movie renaissance we're supposedly experiencing right now, Baxley is needed now more than ever. People can claim that those Expendables movies are a tribute to "old school" action, so why not get a director who actually knows how to do old school action? Even if he went the DTV route, at least Baxley would be making features again.
The World's End, was released, we knew he would be making Ant-Man for Marvel), but sometimes -- in the words of Tom Petty -- that makes the waiting the hardester part.