FilmJerk Favorites

A group of unique directors and the essential works that you've got to see.

||| Francis Ford Coppola |||
Francis Ford Coppola

Coppola is an amazing talent whose inspiration and influence spans many generations. Virtually the link between the studio system of yesteryear and the independent minded filmmaker of the modern age, Coppola became the first major film director to emerge from a university degree program in filmmaking, thus legitimizing a now common route for many future filmmakers.

This Academy Award winner continues to enjoy an enormous critical and popular success due in large part to Coppola’s ability to break down an epic saga of crime and the struggle for power into the basic story of a father and his sons, punctuating the prevalent theme throughout Coppola’s oeuvre: the importance of family in today’s world. His personal portrait mixed tender moments with harsh brutality and redefined the genre of gangster films.

This intense, yet unassuming thriller has an impact that touches the viewer on a personal level and raises the question of privacy and security in a world of technology – thirty years ago! Coppola’s then virtually unknown cast is a roster of inevitable superstars, including Gene Hackman, Harrison Ford, and Robert Duvall. This Academy Award nominee for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Sound lost out to Coppola’s other great effort of the year, The Godfather: Part II.

Coppola's masterful Vietnam War-updating of Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" was the first major motion picture about the infamous “conflict”. This colossal epic was shot on location in the Philippines over the course of more than a year and contains some of the most extraordinary combat footage ever filmed. Unforgettable battle sequences and sterling performances from every cast member (including Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, Laurence Fishburne, Harrison Ford, Scott Glenn, and Martin Sheen) mark this Academy Award-winning drama as a must-see for any true film fanatic.

Recommended by CarrieSpecht

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More On The Train Wreck Waiting to Happen Friday

By EdwardHavens

June 13th, 2001

One of our faithful readers, Bone, saw our report about Tomb Raider a couple of days ago and wanted to add some background about the incident with Simon West during one of the test screening of the movie. You see... Bone is, as they say, in the know...


"Obviously, we had known we were going to have a research screening of an "unknown" movie. No one was allowed to know the title of the movie. The only reason I knew what movie it was, was because the retards who built the print wrote Tomb Raider on the tail. Plus the fact that they MADE me watch it.

"The Paramount people and technicians, as well as the Dolby tech, had gotten to our theatre early the morning of the screening. Simon West showed up some time in the afternoon. By then the print had already been build and everything had been setup. They played the movie for him.

"When it was over, I kid you not, he came out of the auditorium screaming and yelling saying, 'This movie is a piece of shit' and 'No one's going to like this fucking movie.' He immediately got on the phone and called the editors to tell them to get their asses on the next flight out to our theatre. They arrived quicker than the paparazzi at any Madonna attended function and began to chop the film up. Cutting here and splicing there.

"Showtime was at 7:00 PM. The Paramount people said they needed someone to watch the entire movie from the booth to make sure nothing goes wrong. Needless to say, they volunteered me. I tried to get out of it saying that I had three prints of Pearl Harbor to build (which I did). They didn't buy any of it. Bastards. So I stood and watched the whole movie. I'll tell you, I'm not a fan of the game. I've never played it and I never plan too. I wasn't too impressed with it. It was okay. Some cool parts. Some not so cool parts. The movie was 6 reels long.

"After the screening was over, West again came out of the auditorium (this time with the crowd of over 800) still swearing and saying his own movie was a 'fucking piece of shit.' The other projectionists and I were, of course, laughing the whole time. West never came up into the booth. He was always busy down in the lobby talking to people.

"When time came for everyone to leave, the guy tearing down the print screwed it up big time. I don't know if he had ever torn down a print in his life. Somewhere in the fifth reel, the platter kept spinning when he slowed down the make up table. He saw this so he sped up the make up table which in turn caused the rollers to pull the film tight and crunch it all up. It was really funny.

"We had a trade screening of Tomb Raider last week and it was only 5 reels. Down from the 6 for the research screening. We got 2 finished copies the other day and they are 6 reels with the last reel being only credits. Neither the research print nor the trade print had credits. I've watched all three versions and I didn't really notice a difference. Then again, I don't really care."

Thanks Bone. Savant would also like me to add his own review: "It really really sucks ass."