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C'mon Hollywood: Save John McTiernan!

2 years agoby:

Let me say, first and foremost, that I am by no means a legal expert. You wouldn’t go to an auto mechanic to fix your garage door, nor should you come to a movie geek for legal advice. Good? All right. Now, most of us are aware of the huge impact that director John McTiernan has had on film. Some may try to downplay it, but the fact remains that he’s directed two of the most popular, genre-defining action films of all time; DIE HARD and PREDATOR. Both of those films, released a year apart, have stood the test of time and become the standard to beat when it comes to the genre.

Those aren’t the only good films McTiernan has made, but definitely the standouts of his career. His adaptation of Tom Clancy’s THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER is another outstanding film, as is THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, a remake that eclipses the original into obscurity. 1993’s LAST ACTION HERO was long regarded as a failed misstep, but has grown to be appreciated as a film before its time, serving as a kick ass action film, while making fun of the same genre. His DIE HARD WITH A VENGEANCE didn’t topple the original, but serves as one of the stronger sequels in the franchise.

The Sean-Connery led MEDICINE MAN was an interesting and sometimes thrilling adventure film that didn’t quite connect with audiences, but still shows off the technical skill of the New York-born director. One of my favorite films in his repertoire is his adaptation of author Michael Crichton’s Eaters of the Dead, THE 13TH WARRIOR, a vastly underrated Viking epic, replete with McTiernan’s signature style, both in camerawork and gritty, real-world atmosphere.

Certainly, McTiernan’s last two films, ROLLERBALL and BASIC, were the true low points for the director. A remake of Norman Jewison’s 1975 cult-hit starring James Caan, McTiernan’s ROLLERBALL is an incoherent mess and serves as the film that put the filmmaker in hot water to begin with. His follow up, BASIC, is a convoluted wannabe RASHOMON-themed film chock full of the most military gaffes I’ve ever seen. Ultimately, these last two films have not completed a great legacy by arguably the greatest action director of this generation.

And now, McTiernan is going to jail. After an illegal wiretapping scandal with ex-private investigator Anthony Pellicano (now serving a 15-year sentence himself), McTiernan made a series of legal missteps when dealing with a charge that he’d hired Pellicano to wiretap ROLLERBALL producer Charles Roven (for reasons yet to be divulged). The charge itself is actually two counts of making false statements to the FBI in 2006 and one count of perjury for lying to a federal judge while trying to withdraw a guilty plea, which ended in the October 2010 sentencing of 12 months in prison. Since then, McTiernan has been embroiled in appeals, the last of which was to the Supreme Court, who denied to hear the case, leaving McTiernan’s year-long sentence to stand.

Now, McTiernan is left no choice but to serve out the sentence. So, what does that mean for the 62-year-old director? Well, it means a lot of time to think about what to do once his time is served. In the years since 2003’s BASIC, his last film, McTiernan’s name has been linked to a wide array of projects, none of them coming to fruition due to his legal troubles. It wouldn’t be hard to surmise that making another film would’ve been the least of his concerns during that time and rightly so.

However, with the battle now over on that front and the director poised to serve out his one-year sentence, it is my hope that he finds it within himself to return to his former glory and bring audiences some more of his signature style and execution once this debacle is over. There is no director working today who has conquered McTiernan’s aesthetic grace and technical understanding of camerawork, nor his high-octane action sequences. It would be a true shame if we never saw another film from someone with such a genuine understanding of how film works (and doesn’t) and how best to apply his own style to it.

In a world where celebritants like Lindsay Lohan are running people over, violating court orders, and continuing to throttle their once-promising careers, while still churning out films, it’s of the greatest regret that someone like McTiernan is being stymied from continuing his legacy. Certainly, he made his own bed by dealing with someone like Pellicano in the first place and he must pay the price for that crime. No one is above the law. It’s just a shame that this brush with it has cost us ten years of nothing new from the once prolific director.

McTiernan isn’t getting any younger and a year in jail can do a lot to anyone. With any luck, the director will be able to flush this ten-year long hiatus away and emerge back on the scene with same passion and energy that gave us his prior classics. I believe that he’s more than earned a second chance and I’d hate to think he has nothing left to say. If anything, McTiernan’s time in prison could serve to reinvigorate and inspire him to get back in the saddle and deliver a few more action epics worthy of the legacy he’s already begun. It’s not too late, John!

If Gordon Gecko can do it, so can you. We’ll be waiting for you when you get out...

Extra Tidbit: What type of film would you like to see McTiernan tackle in the future? An action sequel (say, another Die Hard or Predator), an original action film, a thriller, horror, or something else entirely? I'd like to see McTiernan tackle a real-world military film, a la Zero Dark Thirty or the upcoming Lone Survivor.
Source: JoBlo.com

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+1
11:17PM on 03/10/2013

If McT goes to jail ...

for Pellicano case, it should be accompanied by a lot of people in Hollywood. Be honest one moment , do you really think McT it's the only guy in the nice world of hollywood who use the illegals services of Pellicano? Hell no!!! It's only crime in this affair it's not for have put wiretapped Charles Roven (his producer on ROLLERBALL) but for having lied to the FBI, which is considered a federal crime.
Personnaly I think he pays enough for his massive mistake : 10 years without being able
for Pellicano case, it should be accompanied by a lot of people in Hollywood. Be honest one moment , do you really think McT it's the only guy in the nice world of hollywood who use the illegals services of Pellicano? Hell no!!! It's only crime in this affair it's not for have put wiretapped Charles Roven (his producer on ROLLERBALL) but for having lied to the FBI, which is considered a federal crime.
Personnaly I think he pays enough for his massive mistake : 10 years without being able to do its job.
Now let him go and free McT [link]
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4:00PM on 02/08/2013

He broke the law

He had someone spied on . This is a serious invasion of privacy. How do you all defending him like it if the same thing happened to you? And I doubt he will ever come back to making movies. Hollywood doesn't really take kind to directors who spy of others.
He had someone spied on . This is a serious invasion of privacy. How do you all defending him like it if the same thing happened to you? And I doubt he will ever come back to making movies. Hollywood doesn't really take kind to directors who spy of others.
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2:06AM on 01/25/2013

He broke the law...

...But he's also rich. Just fine him out the ass instead of wasting tax dollars. He may have done wrong, but I also don't think it's the kind of infraction that requires jail time since I highly doubt he would do it again. Just take a ton of his money instead of wasting money ON him and call it a day.
...But he's also rich. Just fine him out the ass instead of wasting tax dollars. He may have done wrong, but I also don't think it's the kind of infraction that requires jail time since I highly doubt he would do it again. Just take a ton of his money instead of wasting money ON him and call it a day.
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3:57AM on 01/23/2013
Love to see him do another Predator!
Love to see him do another Predator!
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6:30PM on 01/22/2013

He shouldn't be in jail

especially when Lohan is driving drunk and being stupid
especially when Lohan is driving drunk and being stupid
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12:48PM on 01/23/2013
McTiernan should be in jail and so should Lindsey. Hopefully she will get her deserved penance soon.
McTiernan should be in jail and so should Lindsey. Hopefully she will get her deserved penance soon.
4:03PM on 01/22/2013
I reckon he should do the Judge Dredd sequel if only for ironic reasons
I reckon he should do the Judge Dredd sequel if only for ironic reasons
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1:24PM on 01/22/2013

A very talented director but it's a huge double-standard to let him free...

I love the man for his work but that doesn't get him a "get out of jail free" card. He did the crime, he will do the time. Polanski would be no different. I think heart surgeons are talented as well but does that mean we wouldn't throw them in jail as well if they committed a vicious crime? Of course not.
I love the man for his work but that doesn't get him a "get out of jail free" card. He did the crime, he will do the time. Polanski would be no different. I think heart surgeons are talented as well but does that mean we wouldn't throw them in jail as well if they committed a vicious crime? Of course not.
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1:41PM on 01/22/2013
I don't think he should be set free, I think he needs to save his career. I stated a number of times that he should do his time, but my hope is that it doesn't quash any hopes of seeing another film from the man. "If anything, McTiernan’s time in prison could serve to reinvigorate and inspire him to get back in the saddle and deliver a few more action epics worthy of the legacy he’s already begun. It’s not too late, John!"
I don't think he should be set free, I think he needs to save his career. I stated a number of times that he should do his time, but my hope is that it doesn't quash any hopes of seeing another film from the man. "If anything, McTiernan’s time in prison could serve to reinvigorate and inspire him to get back in the saddle and deliver a few more action epics worthy of the legacy he’s already begun. It’s not too late, John!"
3:08PM on 01/22/2013
Oh totally agree that it shouldn't ruin his career as well, he just needs to man up and get the time over with so he can move on.
Oh totally agree that it shouldn't ruin his career as well, he just needs to man up and get the time over with so he can move on.
12:57PM on 01/22/2013

I agree w/ HoyleHaw

The law is the law. I also never understand trying to get charges dropped just because someone is famous. In fact, it really disgusts me that other actors, directors, etc. run to help aid people like Polanski. These people made their beds and they have to sleep in it. McTiernan broke the law and he had his day in court. Considering everything, I'd say he got off somewhat easy.
The law is the law. I also never understand trying to get charges dropped just because someone is famous. In fact, it really disgusts me that other actors, directors, etc. run to help aid people like Polanski. These people made their beds and they have to sleep in it. McTiernan broke the law and he had his day in court. Considering everything, I'd say he got off somewhat easy.
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12:49PM on 01/22/2013
Lindsay Lohan can hit civilians with cars, multiple automobile accidents, caught with procession of cocaine, multiple DWI's, violating court orders and probation and has never seen more than a 12 hours of jail.
Lindsay Lohan can hit civilians with cars, multiple automobile accidents, caught with procession of cocaine, multiple DWI's, violating court orders and probation and has never seen more than a 12 hours of jail.
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11:38AM on 01/22/2013
He should do a prison thriller next! Actually ...FUCK... he should be directing The Tomb!
He should do a prison thriller next! Actually ...FUCK... he should be directing The Tomb!
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11:14AM on 01/22/2013

You break the law...

...you go to jail. Yeah, it sucks that he has to serve a one-year sentence, but it's not like he didn't do something that brought it on to himself. I'm sure if they would have let him go many people would probably be against it too, saying that celebrities are favored (whether most like it or not, high-caliber directors are celebrities). It is what it is, no matter who you are, if you break the law there has to be some sort of punishment.
...you go to jail. Yeah, it sucks that he has to serve a one-year sentence, but it's not like he didn't do something that brought it on to himself. I'm sure if they would have let him go many people would probably be against it too, saying that celebrities are favored (whether most like it or not, high-caliber directors are celebrities). It is what it is, no matter who you are, if you break the law there has to be some sort of punishment.
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11:05AM on 01/22/2013

A crime is a crime...

regardless of who does it...
regardless of who does it...
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10:42AM on 01/22/2013
I do hope McTiernan will return to directing once his sentence is up. I still refuse to advocate a double-standard for Hollywood people. Roman Polanski is arguably my favorite director, but if I were given the chance, I wouldn't sign that petition to drop charges on him, not because I want to see him thrown in jail, but because such a petition exists only because the man is extremely talented. So, much as I'd like McTiernan make a comeback (and I hope he does one day), and as much as I'm sorry
I do hope McTiernan will return to directing once his sentence is up. I still refuse to advocate a double-standard for Hollywood people. Roman Polanski is arguably my favorite director, but if I were given the chance, I wouldn't sign that petition to drop charges on him, not because I want to see him thrown in jail, but because such a petition exists only because the man is extremely talented. So, much as I'd like McTiernan make a comeback (and I hope he does one day), and as much as I'm sorry he ever messed with Pellicano, fact is, he did, and he's paying the price for it. It annoys me though that the people in the industry who usually get punished tend to be kind of washed up or fringe players by the time it happens. I mean, what was Wesley Snipes doing that was so special before he went inside? Meanwhile, I think Lohan's self-destruction is somehow its own morbid entertainment. It's the only reason I can think of why she's allowed to continue.
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1:14PM on 01/22/2013
I agree completely. I think some are getting the wrong idea here. I'm not advocating for McTiernan to get a pardon...I'm advocating for him to save his career, which has languished for ten years while this case has gone on. It's a sad decline, really. I ultimately wish he'd have served his sentence back in 2010, when he was initially sentenced. Shit, had he done that, we may have had a new McTiernan movie in theaters already with more on the way.

Again, my hope is that his year in
I agree completely. I think some are getting the wrong idea here. I'm not advocating for McTiernan to get a pardon...I'm advocating for him to save his career, which has languished for ten years while this case has gone on. It's a sad decline, really. I ultimately wish he'd have served his sentence back in 2010, when he was initially sentenced. Shit, had he done that, we may have had a new McTiernan movie in theaters already with more on the way.

Again, my hope is that his year in prison will set him straight and reinvigorate him for a comeback of sorts. At his age, he may not be up for it, and that would be a damn shame. But, I'll still hold out hope.
+15
10:34AM on 01/22/2013
He broke the law, he should be punished, just like anybody else; it doesn't matter that he directed good movies. One year is not that long anyways, he can direct after if someone gives him a chance.
He broke the law, he should be punished, just like anybody else; it doesn't matter that he directed good movies. One year is not that long anyways, he can direct after if someone gives him a chance.
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11:11AM on 01/22/2013
As I stated in the article..."Certainly, he made his own bed by dealing with someone like Pellicano in the first place and he must pay the price for that crime. No one is above the law. It’s just a shame that this brush with it has cost us ten years of nothing new from the once prolific director."

As I stated in the article..."Certainly, he made his own bed by dealing with someone like Pellicano in the first place and he must pay the price for that crime. No one is above the law. It’s just a shame that this brush with it has cost us ten years of nothing new from the once prolific director."

10:27AM on 01/22/2013
I'd hate to see Mr. McTiernan go to jail. A director of high caliber like him should have a second chance. I agree - a world where we see stars like Ms. Lohan running around freely while McTiernan is going to jail is just unfair. Still, I doubt if there's anyone in Hollywood that would help him to get out of this predicament. Extra tidbit: either a new Die Hard or Predator would be nice.
I'd hate to see Mr. McTiernan go to jail. A director of high caliber like him should have a second chance. I agree - a world where we see stars like Ms. Lohan running around freely while McTiernan is going to jail is just unfair. Still, I doubt if there's anyone in Hollywood that would help him to get out of this predicament. Extra tidbit: either a new Die Hard or Predator would be nice.
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