Born on the Fourth of July
Born on the Fourth of July
(Oliver Stone, 1989)
Reviewed by Dave Lancaster
Summary: Tom Cruise's first truly great role as paralysed Vietnam vet Ron Kovic is handled brilliantly by Oliver Stone on Oscar winning form. Undeniably powerful.
Of Oliver Stone's loosely threaded Vietnam trilogy, (the others being 'Platoon' and 'Heaven and Earth'), 'Born on the Fourth of July' retains its power the most. Stone picked relative newcomer Tom Cruise at just the right point in his career, when he was an A-lister but also when he was an actor who hadn't truly proven his range (aside from his remarkable turn in 'Rain Man').
Cruise, who bagged his first Oscar nomination, is perfect as the naïve God-fearing Ron Kovic who blindly signs up to go to Vietnam. Injured and subsequently paralyzed from the waist down, Kovic sees true horror in the battlefield, but the film is more interested in the coming home.
The injured vets aren't seen as the heroes they are; instead they're cast aside as if America wants to ignore their contribution in a controversial war. The anti-war movement resents their call to arms. Cruise isn't the obvious choice to play an outsider, a man who is hated and weakened, but his work here is incredible. (Interestingly, Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe, the two warring stars of 'Platoon' have small roles here again playing polar opposites in the same army)
Stone charts Kovic's disintegration towards booze and prostitutes with stark reality and a lack of pretentious audacity which marked his later work. In 'Platoon' you could feel that Stone had a tour of Vietnam. With 'Born on the Fourth of July', you know he's been trying to get over it ever since. 'Platoon' is immediate with its pain, but this cuts deeper takes us further.
Other film news
Oscar winning Hollywood couple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones have patched up their differences are are "back, stronger than ever."
The veteran double Golden Globe nominated star appears to lose his cool with the director and lash out at the crew while on set in the clip. It isn't clear what film or television project the 'Day After Tomorrow' actor was shooting at the time but the explicit outburst was captured on a mobile phone in the hands of a crewmember within spitting distance of the actor who was once married to Meg Ryan.
Steven Spielberg's first time directing a Disney film has just added some star names to its core cast. 'The BFG' will co-star Bill Hader, Jemaine Clement, Rebecca Hall, Penelope Wilton alongside three-time Tony Award winner Mark Rylance who will play the titular âBig Friendly Giantâ and newcomer Ruby Barnhill as Sophie in the Roald Dahl adaptation.
The Suicide Squad has assembled. Director David Ayer set Twitter alight with the very first group cast picture from the production of the ensemble superhero flick 'Suicide Squad'.
Writer and director David Lynch is leaving the highly anticipated return of his cult TV show 'Twin Peaks', the auteur himself revealed. The reason? Money.
If you thought the mixture of Jonah Hill and Martin Scorsese in 'The Wolf of Wall Street' was an odd one, how about Hill being directed by 'Dirty Harry' himself - Clint Eastwood?
'Pirates of the Caribbean 5' has been struck by another setback. The franchise sequel, which has been verging on development hell for a few years now, has now seen its lead actor - Johnny Depp - sustain a hand injury that has effectively shut down production.
We'd previously only been given a glimpse of Daniel Craig's turtleneck in the poster, but now the first teaser trailer for the massively anticipated 'Skyfall' follow-up, 'SPECTRE', has landed and it's available to watch in all its HD glory right here.
Pre-production has already started on Justin Lin's 'Star Trek 3' but the villain role has yet to be cast. The Hollywood Reporter has now reported that Idris Elba is officially in talks to fill those shoes.
Here's the first glimpse of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor in 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice', as first broken over at Entertainment Weekly.
Bradley Cooper set to make his debut as director, taking over from Clint Eastwood for music drama 'A Star Is Born'.
A live-action feature-film adaptation of Jim Henson's 'Fraggle Rock' has been in various stages of early development for the better part of a decade, but now it looks like it's making some real progress: 'Brick' star Joseph Gordon-Levitt has confirmed that he'll be starring.
Michael Biehn, the cult actor who is best known for his work in James Cameron sci-fi classics 'The Terminator', 'The Abyss' and 'Aliens', has confirmed that he will be returning to the 'Alien' franchise in Neill Blomkamp's upcoming sequel.
Here's the first look at 'Bridge of Spies' - the upcoming dramatic thriller directed by triple Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg (âSaving Private Ryan,â âSchindlerâs Listâ) and starring two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks (âForrest Gump,â âPhiladelphiaâ). The first official images sees Hanks' lawyer character in action.
'Into the Wild' star Emile Hirsch scrubbed up well for his mugshot as he posed after a court appearance in Park City, Utah, this week.
It has now been proposed by an eyewitness that the 'Indiana Jones' star's quick-thinking to down his stricken plane on a golf course instead of attempting to make it back to the nearby airport via a residential area most likely 'saved several lives'.
After decades in the acting game, it seems a little strange that 'Die Hard' star Bruce Willis has never graced the stage but all that is about to change - he's just signed on to make his Broadway debut in Stephen King's 'Misery'.
Leonard Nimoy, best known for acting as Dr Spock on 'Star Trek' and directing films such as 'Three Men and a Little Baby', died on Friday in California following a long battle with a pulmonary disease. He was 83.
'Birdman' was the big winner at this year's Oscars, taking home three of the major wins: Best Picture, Best Director and Best (Original) Screenplay. It meant that writer, director and producer Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu walked away with three Oscars on the same night. The quirky film about actors also scooped Best Cinematography.
Following the roaring successes of 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'Angels and Demons', the character of Robert Langdon is returning to the big screen with Tom Hanks dusting off the hair straighteners once again for the lead role and Oscar winning director Ron Howard back in charge of the production.