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 Posted:   Oct 27, 2021 - 4:04 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

COOKIE'S FORTUNE is a typical Robert Altman ensemble piece about the conflict that arises in the small town of Holly Springs when an old woman's death causes a variety of reactions among family and friends. As "Cookie Orcutt," the matriarch still mourning her beloved late husband Buck, Patricia Neal with her gorgeous gravelly voice is spellbinding. Unfortunately, the story requires her to depart fairly early, but there are plenty of other characters to entertain us.

There is Cookie's middle-aged black retainer and friend "Willis Richland" (Charles S. Dutton), who regularly steals pints of Wild Turkey from behind the counter at a local bar and just as regularly furtively returns them. There are Cookie's two nieces "Camille Dixon" and "Cora Duvall" (Glenn Close and Julianne Moore)--one a harridan, the other an emotional basket case, still in their 40s, sleeping in the same room and saying their nightly prayers together. There is "Emily Duvall" (Liv Tyler), young, beautiful, feisty and independent, and her male bimbo policeman boyfriend (Chris O'Donnell). There is a host of minor characters including "Lester Boyle (Ned Beatty), the old cop who has seen it all and whose great passion in life is fishing, and the canny old lawyer "Jack Palmer" (Donald Moffat) who is wise in the ways of the Southern gentry and Southern cops.

Charles S. Dutton, Donald Moffat, and Ned Beatty in COOKIE'S FORTUNE

COOKIE'S FORTUNE was the third and final Robert Altman film in which Donald Moffat appeared. It was also Moffat's final theatrical film. David A. Stewart's score for the 1999 comedy-drama was released by BMG. The $8.5 million film basically broke even at the box office, with a $10.9 million domestic gross.

 Posted:   Oct 28, 2021 - 1:04 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Eddie Murphy is “Rayford ‘Ray’ Gibson,” a hustler, and Martin Lawrence is sincere banker “Claude Banks” whose ambition is to get a legitimate job as a teller at the First Federal in Manhattan to provide wealth for himself and his girlfriend (Saana Lathan). Ray and Claude meet in 1932 at Spanky's Nightclub where “Spanky” (Rick James) assigns the duo on a bootlegging assignment to pay off their debt. The two go South to Mississippi to purchase some "hooch". While there, an associate of Ray's gets killed and corrupt Caucasian locals frame Ray and Claude of a crime they did not commit. The duo are arrested and sentenced to LIFE in a prison camp. There they are introduced to inmates like “Jangle Leg” (Bernie Mac) and the intimidating “Goldmouth” (Michael Taliferro). While imprisoned, Ray and Clause are warned by “Sgt. Dillard” (Nick Cassavetes) that any attempt to escape equals certain death. By the 1940's, they befriend a promising baseball star named “Can't-Get-Right” (Bookeem Woodbine), and in the 1970's they are befriended by sympathetic superintendent “Wilkins” (Ned Beatty).

Ted Demme directed the 1999 comedy-drama. One cue from Wyclef Jean’s score appeared on the CD of songs “Inspired by the Motion Picture” released by Rock Land/Interscope Records. (William Ross’s score was rejected.) The film landed in the top 40 films of the year, with a $73 million worldwide gross. But its $80 million production cost made it a money-loser anyway.

 Posted:   Oct 28, 2021 - 12:16 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Mark Twain’s ROUGHING IT was a series of episodes in the life of young Samuel Clemens as told to his daughter’s Bryn Mawr graduating class of 1891. James Garner played the older Samuel Clemens and did the frequent narration, while Robin Dunne appeared as the young Clemens. Ned Beatty had a supporting role as “Slade.”

Charles Martin Smith directed this two-part made-for-television film, which aired on the Hallmark Channel on 16 & 17 March 2002. Bruce Broughton’s score was released by Intrada in 2003.

 Posted:   Oct 28, 2021 - 2:43 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

THE WOOL CAP was a made-for-cable film that was based on the 1962 theatrical film GIGOT, which had starred Jackie Gleason. This version told the poignant story of an unlikely friendship between a gruff mute named "Charles Gigot" (William H. Macy) and "Lou" (Keke Palmer), a sassy black orphan. Ned Batty co-starred as Gigot's father.

Ned Beatty and William H. Macy in THE WOOL CAP

Steven Schachter directed the film, which premiered on Turner Network Television on 21 November 2004. Jeff Beal's score has not had a release.

 Posted:   Oct 28, 2021 - 4:35 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

SWEET LAND is set in 1920, when "Inge" (Elizabeth Reaser), a German national, travels from Norway to rural Minnesota for her arranged marriage to "Olaf" (Tim Guinee), a Norwegian farmer. But bureaucracy and prejudice cause major complications. Ned Beatty plays “Harmo,” the banker tycoon of the area who makes his living by extending credit to farmers he knows cannot afford it and then foreclosing on their property, sending them to the poor house.

Ned Beatty in SWEET LAND

In speaking about the film, Beatty said, “We want to see a story about us, about people. Here's a girl who comes from Norway and gets all the way to Minnesota. She doesn't speak a word of English, just German, and people still hated Germans from the first World War. Talk about strength. She's traveled alone and far to marry a guy through an arrangement with his parents. You wonder at the strength for just that, much less what it takes to hold on once she gets there. This is about people you know. I love it. I love what it's about.

“One scene summarizes the delicious sense of the movie. It's where Olaf is sleeping in the barn, and Inge is sleeping in the house and there's a sense of tension between them because they are going here and there and trying to get married, but they can't. They get into an argument, and they are talking in German and Norwegian. I love that scene. I love the fact that we know exactly what they are talking about, even though I don't speak Norwegian or German. The performances are wonderful. The acting is as good as anything I've ever been in. I am proud. The two leads are good, boy they are good. I think when people see this movie, they won't have seen anybody like her [Elizabeth Reaser] in quite some time.”

The 2006 film was directed by Ali Selim. Composer Mark Orton released the soundtrack on his own label. The $1 million production made a small profit, with a $1.8 million worldwide gross.

 Posted:   Oct 28, 2021 - 10:42 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Armed with a wardrobe of perfectly tailored suits, a carefully trimmed mustache, and a collection of impeccable bons mots that ooze from his mouth in waves of Virginia syrup, “Carter Page III” (Woody Harrelson) is a Southern Oscar Wilde let loose in present-day Washington, D.C. in THE WALKER. His role in life is to entertain the bored wives of politicians with gossip and clever character assassinations while they play canasta, and like any high-society dandy worth the name, he's always ready with a damaging quip. "The wheel is turning," he says of one less-than-intelligent senator, "but the hamster is dead." Page's life is an easy mixture of cufflinks, afternoon sea breezes, and distant gentility, until the murder of a local financier – who was also the illicit lover of his friend and senator's wife “Lynn Lockner” (Kristin Scott Thomas) – puts Page's homosexuality and left-wing political leanings on the radar of an ambitious and conservative Justice Department lawyer named “Mungo Tenant” (William Hope). Ned Beatty co-stars as “Jack Delorean,” the ultimate D.C. fixer.

Ned Beatty in THE WALKER

Paul Schrader directed this 2007 drama. Anne Dudley’s score did not get a release. The $10 million production was a complete disaster at the box office, with a $590,000 worldwide gross.

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2021 - 11:52 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In the action drama SHOOTER, marksman “Bob Lee Swagger” (Mark Wahlberg) is living in exile, but is coaxed back into action after learning of a plot to kill the President (Tom Butler). After being double crossed and accused of an attempt on the President’s life, he goes on the run, and sets out for the real killer and the truth. Ned Beatty has a supporting role as “Senator Charles F. Meachum.”

Ned Beatty in SHOOTER

Antoine Fuqua directed the 2007 film. Mark Mancina’s score was released by Lakeshore Records. The $61 million production had moderate grosses of $96 million worldwide.

 Posted:   Oct 29, 2021 - 4:40 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In the early 1980's, cocaine-snorting, skirt-chasing, hard-drinking U.S. Congressman Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks), after seeing a CBS special on the war in Afghanistan between the Mujahideen and the Soviets, decides to use his position on a Defense subcommittee to double the covert-ops budget for Afghanistan from a paltry $5 million to an only mildly less paltry $10 million. This sets off CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR, a chain of events which sees Charlie team up with the slightly off-kilter millionairess Joanne Herring (Julia Roberts) and wildcard C.I.A. operative Gust (pronounced 'Gus') Avrakotos (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Their combined efforts help turn around the war in Afghanistan and end the Cold War. Ned Beatty plays evangelist congressman Doc Long, chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee

Ned Beatty and Tom Hanks in CHARLIE WILSON’S WAR

Mike Nichols directed the 2007 film, which was written by Aaron Sorkin, based on a book by George Crile. James Newton Howard’s score replaced a rejected one from Ry Cooder and was released by Varese Sarabande. The $75 million production did OK at the box office, with a $119 million worldwide gross.

 Posted:   Oct 30, 2021 - 11:07 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

French director Bertrand Tavernier returned to the American South with IN THE ELECTRIC MIST, an adaptation of a James Lee Burke novel. “Dave Robicheaux” (Tommy Lee Jones) is an ex-New Orleans homicide detective and recovering alcoholic who has returned to his Louisiana homeland and settled in the sleepy backwater town of New Iberia, where his continuing interest in crime investigation has landed him work as a detective for the local Sheriff's Department. He has adopted a young daughter named “Alafair” (Alana Locke) and has married mobster widow and Lupus sufferer “Bootsie” (Mary Steenburgen).

After the mutilated body of a young woman is discovered in a local woodland, Dave has a chance encounter with Hollywood superstar “Elrod Sykes” (Peter Sarsgaard), whom Robicheaux pulls over and arrests for drunk driving. Desperate to avoid being run in, Elrod reveals the location of a decayed corpse discovered when he was filming in the bayou, a killing Robicheaux realizes he may have witnessed as a child. Subsequent inquiries point him in the direction of local mobster “Julius ‘Baby Feet’ Balboni” (John Goodman), a man with whom he was once good friends but now holds in contempt, and affluent local businessman “Twinky LeMoyne” (Ned Beatty), who obviously know more than they let on.

Two of Tavernier’s earlier films, THE CLOCKMAKER and COUP DE TORCHON were based on stories set in America, but had been translated to other locales by Tavernier. When asked whether he considered doing the same thing with IN THE ELECTRC MIST, he replied: “No, it would have been impossible to set it anywhere else other than southern Louisiana. With those earlier films, I didn’t feel ready to go to the States to film. This time around I had more knowledge, more tradecraft. I knew I could get by. I had already filmed in the States, in Tennessee [MISSISSIPPI BLUES, 1984] and New York [a sequence in ‘ROUND MIDNIGHT, 1986]. The result is a film completed in forty-one days—very, very quickly. And which I could make exactly as I wanted. I have made a film which is, first of all, a French production. The film was financed by TF1 international, with some help from the State of Louisiana because it was shot there. I chose to work with an American producer because I knew that I could not make a film in America without doing this. It would have broken union rules. Therefore, I chose a producer who had worked with Tommy Lee Jones [Michael Fitzgerald produced the 2005 film THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA, which was directed by Jones]. He had made some other films that were interesting too— THE PLEDGE, WISE BLOOD. I said to myself that I would ask a producer who was a little artistic.”

In the end, working with an artistic producer may have been a mistake. A significant disagreement arose between Tavernier and both his American producer, Michael Fitzgerald, and editor, Roberto Silvi, concerning the cutting of the movie. When their disagreements proved impossible to resolve, the only solution was to release two versions of the same film, one for either side of the Atlantic. Fitzgerald, head of Ithaca Pictures, supervised Silvi on the cutting of a shorter, faster-paced film for the U.S. market. Tavernier, with the help of editor Thierry Derocles, kept the picture at its original length, leaving in scenes that, while superfluous to the intrigue, he felt were necessary to explain Robicheaux’s complex personality.

Tavernier’s version, 117 minutes long, was shown at the Berlin Film Festival in February 2009 before being released in European cinemas two months later. At the same time, the producer’s version—102 minutes long, cut very differently from the European version, and containing different scenes—went straight to DVD in the United States. The dispute between Tavernier and Fitzgerald became so strong, that Fitzgerald forbade composer Marco Beltrami to even talk to the director. Beltrami nevertheless met Tavernier in Paris where he gave him two music cues (unused in the producer’s cut) just for the international cut.

Throughout the two versions of IN THE ELECTRIC MIST, there are differences, some subtle, some major, culminating in an ending in which the European version leaves a great deal—perhaps too much—to the viewer’s imagination, while the U.S. version makes plain exactly what has happened.

Asked whether he was “reasonably happy” with the way things turned out, Tavernier said: “Not reasonably… absolutely happy. I’m absolutely happy with this two-film solution. It is something I wanted. The producer keeps the rights for the States. He had some money to recoup, so it was the best way to give him what he wanted. So, I am not reasonably happy, I am absolutely happy.”

Marco Beltrami’s score was released by Varese Sarabande in the U.S. and Colosseum in Germany. A download with different tracks was also made available in France through Play-Time. The theatrical version of the film grossed $8 million internationally.

 Posted:   Oct 30, 2021 - 3:42 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In THE KILLER INSIDE ME, Casey Affleck plays “Lou Ford,” an apparently affable lawman whose amiable front masks the mind of a sadistic killer. When local contractor “Chester Conway” (Ned Beatty) asks him to run prostitute “Joyce Lakeland” (Jessica Alba), whom his son has been seeing, out of town, Ford sees a way of getting revenge over the death of his brother six years earlier. Conway’s cost-cutting was responsible for Ford’s brother’s death on a construction site, and Ford has quietly been harboring a grudge ever since.

Michael Winterbottom directed this 2010 crime drama. Joel Cadbury and Melissa Parmenter provided the unreleased score. The $13 million film barely got a release in the U.S., but managed to gross $4 million from overseas venues.

 Posted:   Oct 31, 2021 - 12:01 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In 2010's TOY STORY 3, the toys are coming to terms with their own obsolescence, and their owner Andy grows older. Some, like “Mr. Potato Head” (Don Rickles) and “Jesse” (Joan Cusak), accept it and choose to go to a daycare center after a misunderstanding causes them to believe that Andy was going to throw them in the trash. “Woody” (Tom Hanks), on the other hand, keeps saying that Andy loves them and that they shouldn't abandon him, and escapes from the daycare center - which all the other toys believe to be a paradise - just so that he can be with Andy again.

Of course, the daycare center is a false utopia, presided over by a strawberry scented bear named “Lotso” (Ned Beatty) who imprisons Andy's toys when they try to rebel and return to their rightful owner. Lotso is supported in his reign of terror by a baby with a half-lidded eye and a “Ken” doll (Michael Keaton) who lives the life of a confirmed bachelor in his dream home until “Barbie” (Jodi Benson) enters his life

“Lotso” (Ned Beatty), “Buzz Lightyear” (Tim Allen), and “Woody” (Tom Hanks) in TOY STORY 3

Before Ned Beatty was cast as “Lotso,” actors like Jeff Bridges, Mark Hamill, Michael Clarke Duncan, Patrick Stewart, Bill Nighy, Liam Neeson, John Hurt, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, Christopher Lee, Morgan Freeman, James Cromwell, Hugo Weaving, Ian McShane, Ian McKellen, James Woods, Brian Cox, Nick Nolte, Robert De Niro, Chazz Palminteri, Seth MacFarlane, Tommy Lee Jones, Richard Dreyfuss, Ernest Borgnine, Peter Serafinowicz, Bernard Hill and Rade Serbedzija were all considered to voice the character.

Lee Unkrich directed the film. Disney only released Randy Newman's score as a digital download album at the time of the film's release. But two years later, in 2012, Intrada and Disney partnered to issue the score on CD.

 Posted:   Oct 31, 2021 - 11:11 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

RANGO (voice of Johnny Depp) is an ordinary chameleon who accidentally winds up in the town of Dirt, a lawless outpost in the Wild West in desperate need of a new sheriff. Ned Beatty voices the Mayor of Dirt.

Ned Beatty in RANGO

Gore Verbinski directed the 2001 film. Hans Zimmer’s score was released by Anti Records. The $135 million production grossed $246 million worldwide.

 Posted:   Oct 31, 2021 - 2:53 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Set in 1999 Los Angeles, RAMPART follows veteran police officer “Dave Brown” (Woody Harrelson), the last of the renegade cops, as he works to take care of his family, and struggles for his own survival. Brown is still on the take, brutalizing criminals and family members alike. Among the many forces arrayed against Brown, trying their best to push back against his abuse of authority, are Anne Heche and Cynthia Nixon as sisters who consecutively married (and divorced) him, Ice Cube as an equally aggressive counterpart in Internal Affairs, bratty daughter extraordinaire Brie Larson, and even corrupt ex-policeman “Hartshorn” (Ned Beatty) who mentors Brown with a combination of pride and remorse.

Ned Beatty and Woody Harrelson in RAMPART

Oren Moverman directed and co-wrote the film. Dickon Hinchliffe’s score claimed four tracks on the song-track CD released by Lakeshore Records. The $12 million film was a bust at the box office, grossing just $1.6 million worldwide.

 Posted:   Nov 1, 2021 - 1:26 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

RAMPART was Ned Beatty’s last major film appearance. He had small roles in two more films before retiring in 2013 at the age of 76. Although Beatty did not make his first screen appearance until age 35, his talent was such that he soon became known as the “busiest man in Hollywood.” Although he never won an acting award, he was always a welcome presence on the screen. Farewell, Ned.

with William Christopher in M*A*S*H

with Gene Hackman in SUPERMAN II

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