Could this be the greatest movie summer in decades?
Is 'Savages' another Oliver Stone comeback story?
One of the intriguing surprises in release dating over the past six months was Universal Pictures' decision to move Oliver Stone's adaptation of Don Winslow's novel "Savages" to July 6. Going opposite Sony's "Amazing Spider-Man" proves the studio has to be very confident in the thriller. And for Stone, critical adoration and a solid hit are necessary to put him in Hollywood's good graces once again. The auteur had his share of big hits from 1986's "Platoon" to 1991's "JFK." But after the controversy over 1994's "Natural Born Killers" (which fared OK with $50 million domestic), Stone bombed with "Nixon" and "U-Turn." His first "comeback" was Warner Bros. "Any Given Sunday" which made $75 million U.S., but likely never broke even. Five years later, 2004's "Alexander" officially put him in movie jail after the (reportedly) $155 million epic crashed and burned in theaters and with critics. Stone's next comeback was with 2006's "World Trade Center" which did a fine $162 million worldwide and had Paramount dreaming of a best picture nomination. Unfortunately, Stone then stumbled again with "W." and "Wall Street Never Sleeps," two critical disappointments that were also financial misses. Now, Winslow's juicy material may prove - once again - you can't count Oliver Stone out.
- Gregory Ellwood