As director, you can have all the wild visions you want for how your film will be created, how the finished product will take shape behind that vision and live on to be remembered accordingly. But that simply is not a conceivable goal without the proper team behind you.
They wanted to do a remake of The Champ. I'm not a big fan of remakes, nor am I the guy to go to for an adaptation or reinvention. That said, I pitched them the idea of telling the next chapter of Marshall's story through the analogy of boxing.
Southpaw begins and ends with boxing matches. The two hours between are filled with life's battles. Some spill into the boxing ring. But the battles of daily life are not so cleanly configured, nor can life's other cut men stop the bleeding of the soul. That may be a more personal struggle.
If I were going to make a 10-best list, it would probably include films like Boyhood, The Imitation Game and Selma, among others that will be on everyone's list. But, as good as those films are, none of them are on my list of favorites.
The last time they worked together, Denzel Washington and director Antoine Fuqua conjured up Training Day. Now, the successful duo goes back to the well once more for another powerful and violent movie. Do they yield the same results?
Like Antoine Fuqua's March release, Roland Emmerich's White House Down is a Die Hard clone, about a well-intended and highly skilled former military and law man who just happens to be the only one in the position to foil the terrorists doing the attacking.
Olympus Has Fallen offers a level of jingoistic fear-mongering the likes of which are more commonly associated with a 1980s Chuck Norris vehicle. It isn't terribly smart and it peaks in the first act, but damned if I didn't enjoy the picture nonetheless.
A second-rate Die Hard knock-off with Gerard Butler playing the Bruce Willis role, Olympus Has Fallen is preposterously overblown, an action movie that seems to prove the old saying: If brains were gunpowder, this movie wouldn't have enough to blow its own nose.
What was it like going from ancient history to a modern cautionary tale? I caught up with Morris, to find out what it was like working on Olympus Has Fallen and why audiences are in for a non-stop thrill ride.
Tomorrow on PBS, I sit down with the incredibly talented actress Angela Bassett and film director Antoine Fuqua. The pair's latest collaboration is the movie Olympus Has Fallen, an action thriller that has Washington, D.C. under siege from terrorists.
Any time you make a movie about morally conflicted cops battling charismatic drug dealers on city streets, you're going to draw comparisons to The Wire -- and almost inevitably, your movie will come up short.