Thursday, 24 November 2011

THE TOP TEN FILMS YOU NEVER KNEW MICHAEL SHANNON WAS IN

To celebrate the release of TAKE SHELTER (opening this Friday 25th November), we take a look back at the movies you never knew leading –man Michael Shannon once starred in.

Bad Lieutenant (2009)
For Abel Ferrara's cult crime drama Bad Lieutenant, Michael Shannon appeared as a pediatrician briefly. The movie which saw Nicolas Cage step into Harvey Keitel's original mould of a corrupt and drug-addled police officer, with the scummy setting moving from New York City to New Orleans.


Revolutionary Road (2008)
Stealing the show from the entire cast, Michael Shannon received an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of John Givings in Sam Mendes' Revolutionary Road. John is the hyper-observant head-case (veteran of 27 electroshock treatments) whose bitter insights shatter the fragile harmony of fifties suburbanites Frank and April Wheeler (Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet). Both his scenes are showstoppers, outlandishly funny yet redolent of doom: It’s John who finally tears this couple’s playhouse down.


World Trade Center (2006)
Sergeant John McLoughlin (Nicolas Cage) and William J. Jimeno (Michael Peña) were two officers assigned to New York City's Port Authority who were working their beats on a quiet day in early fall when they received an emergency call. The day was September 11, 2001, and McLoughlin and Jimeno were among the policemen who attempted to evacuate the World Trade Center towers after they were struck by airliners piloted by terrorists. Both McLoughlin and Jimeno were inside the fifth building of the World Trade Center when the towers fell, and were two of the last people found alive amidst the wreckage. As McLoughlin and Jimeno struggled to hold on to their lives as rescuers sifted through the rubble, their spouses -- Donna McLoughlin (Maria Bello) and Allison Jimeno (Maggie Gyllenhaal) -- clung to the desperate hope that their husbands would survive and be found. As the McLoughlin and Jimeno families waited for word on the fate of the two men, they watched as a city and a nation came together with strength and compassion in the face of a tragedy.


The Woodsman (2004)
Writer/director Nicole Kassell makes her feature film debut with the drama The Woodsman. Co-written by Steven Fechter, the original script won first place at the Slamdance Screenplay Competition in 2001. Kevin Bacon plays Walter, a child molester who gets out of prison after serving a 12-year sentence. He returns to his old town and tries to start over by working at a woodyard. Fortunately, his brother-in-law (Benjamin Bratt) helps him get a place to live. He even strikes up a relationship with local gal Vickie (Bacon's real-life wife, Kyra Sedgwick). However, Walter still struggles with his past and the suspicions of co-worker Mary-Kay (Eve) and Detective Lucas (Mos Def). The Woodsman premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004 as part of the dramatic competition


Bad Boys 2 (2003)
Stars Martin Lawrence and Will Smith return along with director Michael Bay and producer Jerry Bruckheimer for this sequel to the 1995 sleeper hit Bad Boys, the film that sparked the careers of both actors, as well as Bay. Once again, Lawrence and Smith play hotshot, wisecracking Miami narcotics officers Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowrey. This time around, Burnett and Lowrey have been assigned to head up a task force to investigate the illegal trafficking of ecstasy into the city. They discover that an underground gang war has been instigated by drug kingpin Johnny Tapia (Jordi Molla). In order to cut off the flow of the designer drug, they have to take down Tapia. Unfortunately, there's a wrench thrown into the gears in the form of Burnett's sister Syd, whom Lowrey takes a liking to and begins a relationship with. Tensions rise between the partners, threatening both their friendship and the investigation and putting Syd in harm's way.


8 Mile (2002)
Controversial rap star Eminem makes his acting debut in this hard-edged urban drama, inspired in part by incidents from the musician's own life. Jimmy Smith (Eminem), known to his friends as Rabbit, is a young man trying to make his way out of the burned-out shell of inner-city Detroit. Rabbit's entire life has been a hard climb, and it certainly hasn't gotten any easier lately; Rabbit has just been dumped by his girlfriend, forcing him to move back in with his emotionally unstable mother, Stephanie (Kim Basinger), and he's getting along especially poorly with Stephanie's new boyfriend. Rabbit has a factory job that's tough, demeaning, and doesn't pay especially well, and he's convinced his skills as a rapper are his only real hope at a better life. Rabbit makes music with a crew of DJ's and MC's who call themselves Three One Third, among them his close friend Future (Mekhi Phifer), but his status as a white kid making music in a predominantly African-American community and culture is extremely intimidating, and after Rabbit freezes up in the midst of an MC battle, he's convinced he's missed his chance and that he's doomed to lead a marginal life as a factory rat for the rest of his days. With the help of his friends, and his new girlfriend Alex (Brittany Murphy), Rabbit struggles to work up the courage and the confidence to take one more shot at making his dream a reality


Vanilla Sky (2001)
Tom Cruise stars as David Ames, a womanizing playboy who finds romantic redemption when he falls in love with his best friend's girlfriend Sofia (Penelope Cruz, reprising her role from the original film). Before that relationship can begin, however, David is coaxed into a car driven by an ex-lover, Julie (Cameron Diaz), who turns out to be suicidal. Driving her car off a bridge, Julie kills herself and horribly disfigures David. Reconstructive surgery and the loving support of Sofia seem to reverse David's luck, but eerie incidents are soon making him question the reality of his existence and his control over his life, even while he is suspected of complicity in Julie's death.


Tigerland (2001)
A young man tries to fight the military system only to find it fighting back in unexpected ways in this hard-edged drama. In 1971, Roland Bozz (Colin Farrell) is a draftee who has been sent to the Advanced Infantry Training Facility in Fort Polk, LA, where with hundreds of other new soldiers he's to be taught a final course in combat skills before being shipped out to Vietnam. Bozz has no interest in going to war, and is determined to get sent home as a troublemaker. But his plan backfires; his superiors regard his insubordination as a sign of intelligence and independent thinking, and he's told he might some day become an officer. Bozz and his fellow soldiers -- aspiring writer Paxton (Matthew Davis), sensitive Miter (Clifton Collins Jr.), philosophical Cantwell (Thomas Guiry), bloodthirsty Wilson (Shea Whigham), and heroic Johnson (Russell Richardson) -- are taught how to survive as they face their fears of death and wonder if they can somehow escape going to war.


Cecil B. DeMented (2000)
Iconoclastic satirist John Waters bites the hand that (periodically) feeds him in this humorous look at the underside of the film industry. Self-styled guerrilla filmmaker Cecil (Stephen Dorff) leads a Baltimore movie-making collective/street gang called the Sprocket Holes, which includes Cecil's girlfriend and frequent leading lady, a low-rent porn actress named Cherish Oh Lordy (Alicia Witt). Desperate for attention, they kidnap famous Hollywood actress Honey Whitlock (Melanie Griffith) during a Baltimore publicity stop and force her at gunpoint to star in their latest production, Raving Beauty. Before long, Honey comes down with a severe case of Stockholm syndrome and joins the Sprocket Holes in their bid to destroy the mainstream film industry.


Groundhog Day (1993)
A very early and brief appearance from Michael here back in 1993. Bill Murray plays Phil, a TV weatherman working for a local station in Pennsylvania but convinced that national news stardom is in his grasp. Phil displays a charm and wit on camera that evaporates the moment the red light goes off; he is bitter, appallingly self-centered, and treats his co-workers with contempt, especially his producer Rita (Andie MacDowell) and cameraman Larry (Chris Elliot). On February 2, 1992, Phil, Rita, and Larry are sent on an assignment that Phil especially loathes: the annual Groundhog Day festivities in Punxsutawney, PA, where the citizens await the appearance of Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog who will supposedly determine the length of winter by his ability to see his own shadow. Phil is eager to beat a hasty retreat, but when a freak snowstorm strands him in Punxsutawney, he wakes up the next morning with the strangest sense of déjà vu: he seems to be living the same day over again. The next morning it happens again, and then again. Soon, no matter what he does, he's stuck in February 2, 1992; not imprisonment nor attempted suicide nor kidnapping the groundhog gets him out of the loop. But the more Phil relives the same day, the more he's forced to look at other people's lives, and something unusual happens: he begins to care about others. He starts to respect people, he tries to save the life of a homeless man, and he discovers that he's falling in love with Rita and therefore wants to be someone that she could love in return.

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