Here’s a question for you: If I ask you to name your favorite ‘legendary’ film director, would your answer be Oliver Stone? While I’ve seen so many of his films, somehow his name is never on the tip of my tongue. Maybe that is because at times, rather going for great, he goes for controversial. Still not sure and need to consider the question? Okay, how about a list of films that have Oliver Stone’s imprint on them to help you consider?
Director: Savages, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, World Trade Center, Nixon, Natural Born Killers, JFK, The Doors, Born on the Fourth of July, Talk Radio, Wall Street, Platoon, and Salvador.
Writer: Evita, Heaven & Earth, 8 Million Ways to Die, Year of the Dragon, Scarface, Conan The Barbarian, and Midnight Express.
Producer: Alexander, The Corrupter, The People vs Larry Flynt, Freeway, The Joy Luck Club, and Blue Steel.
Now in many cases, Stone wore all three hats, or just two out of the three. Still, no matter how you look at it, Oliver Stone has been a major player in the culture of film; and we can certainly say that his work has been impactful.
This brings us to his latest film called Savages. It opened yesterday, July 6th. Yes, it is a tale about pot dealers having to face off against a Mexican Cartel. Yes, it will have a resemblance to Scarface, to Blow, to Carlito’s Way, and many others.
Savages has six main players, and two important supporting roles. On one side we have the pot grower/dealers. They have produced the best cannabis in the world. For those with a discerning taste, their weed goes for a mere $6000 a pound. Chon, is played by Taylor Kitsch who started the year with two losers called John Carter and Battleship. Here he’s an ex-Navy Seal and he did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He came home from the war with a jar of seeds.
His best pal, since they were kids, is Ben who is played by Aaron Johnson. I’m looking forward to his next film Anna Karenina – he plays Count Vronsky. In this one, he’s the botanist and he knows everything there is to know about hydroponics, or soil and sunlight, as well as the business side of pot. Hence their product was the best available anywhere and they even made it semi-legit as a good part of their agricultural business was selling legal medicinal herb.