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The Ghost and the Darkness – 1996 Hopkins
- It is probably about the 40th best film of 1996- but enough elements to make it worthy of the archives
- It borrows a great deal from Jaws– substituting the lion(s) in the for shark (they even have a scene where they chum the waters so to speak for the lions)
- Val Kilmer (close or near the height of his star-power zenith—Batman Forever was the year before) and Michael Douglas (in the Robert Shaw role) as dueling great white hunters. Kilmer’s unbridled arrogance his great, and Douglas (who shows up about 44 mins in) has enough swagger and confidence to make up for the questionable accent
- I believe they quote Mike Tyson’s “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth” (at least I’ve heard a million times that it’s attributed to him) and this, of course, is a film set far before Tyson’s birth- haha
- The shifting narration is a bit of a problem—you also absolutely forget about the bridge that supposed to be built
- So if you need yet another example of why a director is so important- this is directed by Stephen Hopkins—just a caretaker—and at his disposal are writer William Goldman (Butch Cassidy, All the President’s Men), Vilmos Zsigmond (Blow Out, Heaven’s Gate) as the DP and music from Jerry Goldsmith (Chinatown, The Omen, Hoosiers)—my god (guess you could argue the best work for all three was at least a decade before)—what talent behind the camera with this trio here- and we still only have about the 40th best film of 1996.