#1  
Old 02-18-2010, 10:43 AM
Bio-pics

Just wanna know what you guys think of biopics in general. Do you think they are necessary? I mean half of the ones that are rumored to be in pre-production I don't think would make good movies.

Steve McQueen
Frank Sinatra
Bob Marley
Kurt Cobain

Would any of these really be interesting/good?

Granted there are some out there I like. But generally the biopics I like aren't the generic type. They focus more on a particular part of that persons life and tell it well; Capote, Serpico, Raging Bull, Milk. Hell even Schindler's List and Goodfellas are biopics. They could have easily been turned into movies that deal with the persons life from inception to death. But the filmmakers obviously knew that its a particular story that people want to hear about. The movies I think of that seem to indulge in needless details (something that would be better suited for a documentary or autobiography), stuff like Chaplin, Ray come to mind. Then there are the squillions that I haven't seen; Amelia, Mommie Dearest, Wyatt Earp, The Buddy Holly Story. All interesting stories, all self-indulgent.

Thoughts?

Keep in mind some of the recent ones to have come out, movies on George W. Bush, Charles Darwin, Jane Austin, Idi Amin, JM Barrie, Erin Brocovich.
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  #2  
Old 02-18-2010, 10:51 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by overwatch View Post
Keep in mind some of the recent ones to have come out, movies on George W. Bush, Charles Darwin, Jane Austin, Idi Amin, JM Barrie, Erin Brocovich.
I thought W. was rather mediocre and disappointing coming from a normally great director like Oliver Stone. Haven't seen Creation or Becoming Jane yet. But I did love Erin Brockovich and Finding Neverland.

I enjoy biopics in general. I think they often are compelling. Malcolm X is probably the greatest biopic of all time. Denzel Washington is nothing short of amazing!

I look forward to the Frank Sinatra one since Scorsese is behind it.

The others I won't know if they interest me until I see a trailer, though I don't doubt that a Kurt Cobain biopic could be really good considering what a tragic figure the guy was.
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  #3  
Old 02-18-2010, 04:53 PM
I love watching biopics. As I mentioned in another thread Tarantino had said that they are least favourite genre as "they are showcases for actors not directors or storytellers". I think that's accurate, but in a way that's what I like about them, no matter how good or bad the movie is, at least you know you've got an interesting performance/character to follow throughout.

I agree that 'true story movies' come across as formuliac and consequently more dull when they focus on telling the story of one character's life and are better off focussing on a set period of that character's life.

My favourite biopic is (of course) Goodfellas. I also enjoy Malcolm X, Ray, Walk the Line, My Left Foot, Milk and many others.
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  #4  
Old 02-18-2010, 06:40 PM
The Pursuit of Happyness is my favourite, Smith is nothing short of amazing in it. His best performance so far, I think.
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  #5  
Old 02-18-2010, 07:08 PM
I think a bio-pic on Bob Marley would be fascinating. He was a great man, with a truly touching story. There are so many marley heads who love to listen to marley when they smoke a joint. But ask them what they think about Marley getting shot at a concert in Jamaica and they will be like dude that never happened, marley was all about peace man! People only think marley was a rastaweedman who is great to smoke out to, people dont know anything about the life of Bob Marley.
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  #6  
Old 02-18-2010, 09:02 PM
Walk Hard is the greatest biopic ever, seriously.
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  #7  
Old 02-18-2010, 09:03 PM
Biopics I want to see
Paul Revere
Robert F Williams
Nikola Tesla
St. George
Keith Moon
Warren Zevon
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  #8  
Old 02-18-2010, 10:01 PM
I would just love to see a biopic on Guns N Roses, from the beginning to the peak to the fall...

Ozzy
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  #9  
Old 02-18-2010, 10:33 PM
Generally, the good biopics are the ones that genuinely have something to express -- like Goodfellas, Raging Bull, The Passion of Joan of Arc, Bonnie and Clyde, etc. -- rather than exist simply because the person in question would make an interesting subject. Movies like The Last King of Scotland, Amelia and even The Aviator seem to reek of Oscar baitishness.

With that in mind, I think the Kurt Cobain biopic has potential and I won't count out Sinatra just yet, but I could care less about the others.
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  #10  
Old 02-19-2010, 06:57 AM
I agree with Le_Big_Mac in that a bio-pic can only be good in my eyes if there is something more to tell other than the protagonist's life story - except that I would definitely put The Aviator in the first group and not the latter one. Films like Raging Bull, Bonnie and Clyde, The Aviator, Amadeus, and the other great bio-pics are so good because they are first and foremost character studies: They don't just go through a checklist of events that define the subject's life (Ray, Amelia, etc) but rather, they take their subject and deconstruct him: they are full-fledged character studies that just ahppent o be about real people just like Forrest Gump is about a fictional person.
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  #11  
Old 02-19-2010, 07:06 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by overwatch View Post
Steve McQueen
Frank Sinatra
Bob Marley
Kurt Cobain

Would any of these really be interesting/good?
Sinatra is actually my most anticipated of the upcoming rumored Scorsese projects. I hear that the primary focus of that film will be his ties to the Mafia. If he does end up making it I hope he gets Adam Sandler to play Joey Bishop, which is who he said he wanted to play the role.
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  #12  
Old 02-19-2010, 07:09 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bourne101 View Post
Sinatra is actually my most anticipated of the upcoming rumored Scorsese projects. I hear that the primary focus of that film will be his ties to the Mafia. If he does end up making it I hope he gets Adam Sandler to play Joey Bishop, which is who he said he wanted to play the role.
On the same topic of the original post, I wanted to add that I think that a Kurt Cobain bio-pic is totally redundant, especially since we already HAVE one:

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  #13  
Old 02-19-2010, 06:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monotreme View Post
On the same topic of the original post, I wanted to add that I think that a Kurt Cobain bio-pic is totally redundant, especially since we already HAVE one:

Technically it wasnt Kurt Cobain though. Just a tortured musician that was "reminiscent" of Cobain (at least thats what the plot description is). And besides, Last Days didnt go into any detail at all of his life. Its basically 90 minutes of Michael Pitt walking through a forest and mumbling to himself.

I have always wanted to see Gary Oldman play Edgar Allen Poe but its looking like that wont ever happen.
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  #14  
Old 02-19-2010, 07:14 PM
I would love to see a Scott Walker biopic. His life is crazy interesting.

My favourite biopic is probably Prick Up Your Ears.

Others,

American Splendor
Love Is The Devil
Quills
The Straight Story
24 Hour Party People
Control
The Elephant Man
Sid & Nancy
My Left Foot
Milk
Immortal Beloved
Wilde
Amadeus
Elizabeth
Basquiat
The People vs. Larry Flint
Coal Miner's Daughter
Man On The Moon
Boys Don't Cry
Kinsey
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  #15  
Old 02-20-2010, 02:22 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by cerealkiller182 View Post
Robert F Williams
Props.

Hardly anyone even knows who Williams is. I've been researching a biopic on him for the past couple years and have been working recently with an expert on the black power movement on a treatment. Making his biopic is my dream project.

I'm with the majority here, biopics are great when they focus in on the complexities of a character and explore that, not when they go A-Z through their life.

Raging Bull, Malcolm X, GoodFellas, Andrei Rublev, Lawrence of Arabia, Alexander Nevsky, and if they count Citizen Kane, The Passion of Joan of Arc, and Talk Radio are my favorites. Che was the best of the last decade I thought.

I agree that I'm not that interested in biopics of McQueen, Marley, or Cobain (Last Days is a great movie about him, but faaaaaar from a biopic) and feel like the basis there is not so much on a fascinating story as it is on the popularity of the name getting people in the seats. Sinatra I'm interested in mostly because it's Scorsese and he reliably churns out great films.

Beyond the Williams films I'd love to do myself, I think great movies could be made about Matthew Alexander, J. Edgar Hoover, Hu Jintao, I.F. Stone, and Henry Wallace.

Last edited by QUENTIN; 02-20-2010 at 02:26 AM..
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  #16  
Old 02-20-2010, 02:38 AM
When it comes to bio-pics, I usually think of Oscar-bait. Most of the movies listed won or were nominated for Best Actor, Actress, Best Supporting Actor or Actress.

One that I don't see mentioned yet (though it is pretty late and I am tired) is Scorcese's Aviator. Great performances and direction.
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  #17  
Old 02-20-2010, 07:27 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigred760 View Post
One that I don't see mentioned yet (though it is pretty late and I am tired) is Scorcese's Aviator. Great performances and direction.
I mentioned The Aviator. I think it's one of Scorsese's finest films and a great example of how a good bio-pic is more of a character study than a history lesson.

Regarding Last Days: Sure, it's not a straight-up bio-pic and technically not even about Kurt Cobain, but I think that that's what makes it so interesting. Another really interesting bio-pic which is also only vaguely a part of this sub-genre but certainly one of the most imaginative and unique examples of it is Todd Hayne's underrated and under-watched masterpiece, I'm Not There. Any bio-pic that has the balls to split its subject into six separate characters, none of which are technically the subject himself but all of which represent an aspect of him, gets my vote.
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