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Clive Owen To Star In Paul Schrader Penned Action Flick ‘Recall’

Clive Owen To Star In Paul Schrader Penned Action Flick 'Recall'

It is difficult to know where Clive Owen’s loyalties lie in the war of art versus commerce. He’s acted in garbage like “King Arthur,” “Derailed,” and “Shoot ‘Em Up,” but on the other hand, he earned an Oscar nominated for 2004’s “Closer.” When Owen does collect a Jason Statham-sized paycheck, it is often while working for great directors, who would never consider hiring a guy like Statham: Alfonso Cuarón (“Children of Men”), Spike Lee (“Inside Man”) or Tom Twyker (“The International”—actually, Twyker would probably work with Statham), and when Owen actually does act in a Jason Statham movie (this year’s “Killer Elite”), he makes sure that Robert De Niro is there to help take the hit.

Can Clive Owen be blamed if no one wants to see “The Boys Are Back” or David Schimmer’s “Trust?” Is it okay to star in the upcoming “Intruders,” from that guy who directed “28 Weeks Later” and mull over a potential “Sin City” sequel? The question of whether or not we can trust Clive Owen will be put to the ultimate test with “Recall,” his upcoming action film, which begins shooting in March 2012. The presence of director Harold Becker, who has the distinction of unleashing John Travolta’s worst post-“Pulp Fiction” pre-“Old Dogs” performance on the world with 2001’ “Domestic Disturbance,” is perfectly/awfully complimented by a rather standard plot involving an “NSA agent trying to piece together the events of a botched hostage rescue operation. As the agent begins to recall events and unearth the truth, he finds he can trust neither his fellow soldiers nor his own men.”

The wild card—and shot at excellence—is Paul “I haven’t sold out since ‘Cat People’” Schrader (“The Exorcist” prequel doesn’t count because the studio shelved it) who wrote the film’s screenplay. Schrader always adds an element of authenticity to his work, and hopefully he will give Clive Owen another one for the “win” column with this one. Think the plot sounds too dumb for the Schrader touch? Keep in mind that on paper, “Taxi Driver” sounds like a bad Steven Segal movie, and “Raging Bull” could have just been a black & white “Rocky.” Owen should simply hire Schrader to write all of his action movies. That would solve everyone’s problems and force Criterion Collection to release a Paul Schrader Action Movie Box Set. [Variety]

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What amazes me is that Owen's original fan base was 30+ women who saw him in serious, well-written movies/TV like Second Sight, which played on PBS years ago. In it Owen played a detective with a secret that impacts all aspects of his life. His performance was intense, poignant, and sexy. Greenfingers, the film, while somewhat lightweight, allowed Owen to play a variety of emotions as well. And he was fantastic in smallish roles in Gosford Park and The Bourne Identity. When he started doing films in the US, with the exception of Closer, he's done action films and very violent ones at that, which made him an action star. So, although I was a huge fan, the direction his film career has taken is very disappointing. I know I'm not alone in my disappointment. I'd love to see him switching between leading man, after all, he is an attractive man, and roles in indie films where he can play a variety of character parts. His career reminds me of another favorite of mine, Kurt Russell, who also made poor choices in my opinion, with a few exceptions, e.g., Silkwood tho he always said he's an actor because he wants to have fun. You gotta love that. But, it seems like Owen has allowed himself to be pigeonholed and is now typecast. Come back to us, Clive. We'd love to see you play men of action vs action antiheroes/heroes. Take a look at George Clooney's career if you need a good role model.


Hey now, Shoot 'Em Up was a lot of fun, a sort of live action cartoon. The satire was kind of overblown, but Owen was awesome, and Giamatti was a great villain. Also, any movie where the hero kills people with a carrot is cool by me.

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