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Mini Dragon Group (ages 6-7)

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The Usual Suspects(1995)

McQuarrie wrote nine drafts of his screenplay over five months, until Singer felt that it was ready to shop around to the studios. None were interested except for a European financing company.[19] McQuarrie and Singer had a difficult time getting the film made because of the non-linear story, the large amount of dialogue and the lack of cast attached to the project. Financiers wanted established stars, and offers for the small role of Redfoot (the L.A. fence who hooks up the five protagonists with Kobayashi) went out to Christopher Walken, Tommy Lee Jones, Jeff Bridges, Charlie Sheen, James Spader, Al Pacino, and Johnny Cash.[16] However, the European money allowed the film's producers to make offers to actors and assemble a cast. They were able to offer the actors only salaries that were well below their usual pay, but they agreed because of the quality of McQuarrie's script and the chance to work with one another.[13] That money fell through, and Singer used the script and the cast to attract PolyGram to pick up the film negative.[19]

The Usual Suspects(1995)

About casting, Singer said, "You pick people not for what they are, but what you imagine they can turn into."[14] To research his role, Spacey met doctors and experts on cerebral palsy and talked with Singer about how it would fit dramatically in the film. They decided that it would affect only one side of his body.[8] According to Byrne, the cast bonded quickly during rehearsals.[11] Del Toro worked with Alan Shaterian to develop Fenster's distinctive, almost unintelligible speech patterns.[20] According to the actor, the source of his character's unusual speech patterns came from the realization that "the purpose of my character was to die."[8] Del Toro told Singer, "It really doesn't matter what I say, so I can go really far out with this and really make it uncomprehensible."[8]

The budget was set at $5.5 million, and the film was shot in 35 days[19] in Los Angeles, San Pedro and New York City.[18] Spacey said that they shot the interrogation scenes with Palminteri over a span of five to six days.[21] These scenes were also shot before the rest of the film.[8] The police lineup scene ran into scheduling conflicts because the actors kept blowing their lines. Screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie would feed the actors questions off-camera and they improvised their lines. When Stephen Baldwin gave his answer, he made the other actors break character.[8] Byrne remembers that they were often laughing between takes and "when they said, 'Action!', we'd barely be able to keep it together."[11] Spacey also said that the hardest part was not laughing through takes, with Baldwin and Pollak being the worst culprits.[21] Their goal was to get the usually serious Byrne to crack up.[21] They spent all morning trying unsuccessfully to film the scene. At lunch, a frustrated Singer angrily scolded the five actors, but, when they resumed, the cast continued to laugh through each take.[8] Byrne remembers, "Finally, Bryan just used one of the takes where we couldn't stay serious."[11] Singer and editor John Ottman used a combination of takes and kept the humor in to show the characters bonding with one another.[8]

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.

See Keyser Soze. This man, rather than suffer the emasculation of begging for his wife and kids, killed them himself. Juxtapose his story with that of Dean Keaton (and the other usual suspects), who were ensnared by Soze because they allowed themselves to fear for their familial relations.

At the risk of being cliché, I'm going to state that only the French could have made a movie about racial issues and the troubles of youngsters in the suburbs and still make it elegant. I've tried looking for other adjectives, but I couldn't find one that better describes those long takes shot in a moody black and white. But despite the elegance of the footage, the power of the narrative and the acting makes the violence and hate realistic as hell, dragging you into the story and empathizing with the characters until you want to raise your arm and fight for your rights. Aside from this unusual combination of fine art and explicit violence, the most shocking thing about La Haine is how much the issues it addresses still make sense right now, even though the movie was released 20 years ago. 041b061a72


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