U Turn (1997 film)

Last updated
U Turn
U-Turnposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Oliver Stone
Produced by Dan Halsted
Clayton Townsend
Written by John Ridley
Oliver Stone
Based onStray Dogs by John Ridley
Starring
Music by Ennio Morricone
Cinematography Robert Richardson
Edited by Hank Corwin
Thomas J. Nordberg
Production
company
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Release date
  • August 27, 1997 (1997-08-27)(Telluride)
  • October 3, 1997 (1997-10-03)(US)
Running time
125 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$19 million (estimated)
Box office$6.6 million (US)

U Turn is a 1997 American neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Oliver Stone and starring Sean Penn, Billy Bob Thornton, Jennifer Lopez, Jon Voight, Powers Boothe, Joaquin Phoenix, Claire Danes, and Nick Nolte. It is based on the book Stray Dogs by John Ridley.

Neo-noir is a modern or contemporary motion picture rendition of film noir. The term film noir was applied to crime movies of the 1940s and 1950s, most produced in the United States, which have a 1920s/1930s Art Deco visual environment.

Oliver Stone American film director, screenwriter, and producer

William Oliver Stone is an American writer, filmmaker and conspiracy theorist. Stone won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay as writer of Midnight Express (1978). He also wrote the acclaimed gangster movie Scarface (1983). Stone achieved prominence as director/writer of the war drama Platoon (1986), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director and the film received Best Picture. Platoon was the first in a trilogy of films based on the Vietnam War, in which Stone served as an infantry soldier. He continued the series with Born on the Fourth of July (1989)—for which Stone won his second Best Director Oscar—and Heaven & Earth (1993). Stone's other notable works include the Salvadoran Civil War-based drama Salvador (1986); the financial drama Wall Street (1987) and its 2010 sequel Money Never Sleeps; the Jim Morrison biographical film The Doors (1991); the satirical black comedy crime film Natural Born Killers (1994); and a trilogy of films based on the American Presidency—JFK (1991), Nixon (1995) and W. (2008). His latest film is Snowden (2016).

Sean Penn American actor, screenwriter, and film director

Sean Justin Penn is an American actor and filmmaker. He has won two Academy Awards, for his roles in the mystery drama Mystic River (2003) and the biopic Milk (2008).

Contents

Plot

Bobby Cooper is a drifter in debt to a violent gangster when his car breaks down in Superior, Arizona. Stranded and broke, he meets Jake and Grace McKenna, a father and daughter who are also a married couple. They separately approach Bobby to kill the other for money.

Superior, Arizona Town in Arizona, United States

Superior is a town in Pinal County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the town is 2,837. Superior was founded as a mining town for the Silver Queen and the later Magma mines.

Desperate and in fear, Bobby approaches Jake about killing Grace. He becomes attracted to Grace and agrees to kill Jake, then he and Grace can be together and use Jake's money for a new start somewhere else.

Sexual attraction Sexual attraction refers to an individuals interest in another on the basis of apperarance, desirability and/or sexual compatability.

Sexual attraction is attraction on the basis of sexual desire or the quality of arousing such interest. Sexual attractiveness or sex appeal is an individual's ability to attract the sexual or erotic interests of other people, and is a factor in sexual selection or mate choice. The attraction can be to the physical or other qualities or traits of a person, or to such qualities in the context where they appear. The attraction may be to a person's aesthetics or movements or to their voice or smell, besides other factors. The attraction may be enhanced by a person's adornments, clothing, perfume or style. It can be influenced by individual genetic, psychological, or cultural factors, or to other, more amorphous qualities. Sexual attraction is also a response to another person that depends on a combination of the person possessing the traits and on the criteria of the person who is attracted.

With Grace's help, Bobby kills Jake, and they leave together with $200,000. As they make their way out of Superior, the Sheriff, with whom Grace has been having an affair, stops them. Grace shoots and kills the sheriff. As they dump the bodies, Grace pushes Bobby over the cliff, severely injuring him. Grace suddenly realizes that Bobby has the car keys.

United States dollar Currency of the United States of America

The United States dollar is the official currency of the United States and its territories per the United States Constitution since 1792. In practice, the dollar is divided into 100 smaller cent (¢) units, but is occasionally divided into 1000 mills (₥) for accounting. The circulating paper money consists of Federal Reserve Notes that are denominated in United States dollars.

Grace makes her way down the steep incline where she and Bobby fight, and in his weakened, injured state, Bobby kills Grace. He makes the grueling journey back up the cliff with a broken leg, then starts the car, but the radiator hose bursts, and Bobby is stranded in the heat injured and dying.

Cast

Jennifer Lopez American actress, singer, dancer and producer

Jennifer Lynn López is an American actress, singer, dancer, and producer. In 1991, López began appearing as a Fly Girl dancer on In Living Color, where she remained a regular until she decided to pursue an acting career in 1993. For her first leading role in the 1997 Selena biopic of the same name, López received a Golden Globe nomination and became the first Latin actress to earn over US$1 million for a film. She went on to star in Anaconda (1997) and Out of Sight (1998), later establishing herself as the highest-paid Latin actress in Hollywood.

Nick Nolte actor, film producer

Nicholas King Nolte is an American actor, producer, author, and former model. He won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for the 1991 film The Prince of Tides. He went on to receive Academy Award nominations for Affliction (1998) and Warrior (2011). His other film appearances include The Deep (1977), Who'll Stop The Rain (1978), North Dallas Forty (1979), 48 Hrs. (1982), Teachers (1984), Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), Another 48 Hrs. (1990), Everybody Wins (1990), Cape Fear (1991), Lorenzo's Oil (1992), The Thin Red Line (1998), The Good Thief (2002), Hulk (2003), Hotel Rwanda (2004), Tropic Thunder (2008), and A Walk in the Woods (2015). He was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Musical or Comedy for his role in the TV series Graves.

Powers Boothe American actor

Powers Allen Boothe was an American television, video game, and film actor and voice actor. Some of his most notable roles include his Emmy-winning portrayal of Jim Jones in Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones and his turns as TV detective Philip Marlowe in the 1980s, Cy Tolliver on Deadwood, "Curly Bill" Brocius in Tombstone, Vice President and subsequently President Noah Daniels on 24, and Lamar Wyatt in Nashville.

Production

U Turn was filmed during November 1996–January 1997 on location in Superior, Arizona and other areas of Arizona and California, including the Coachella Valley. [1] It was filmed entirely on Reversal stock, 5239, to give an extra harsh look to the hostile environment. [2]

Arizona state of the United States of America

Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.

California State of the United States of America

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

Coachella Valley valley in southern California

The Coachella Valley is a desert valley in Southern California that extends approximately 45 mi (72 km) in Riverside County southeast from the San Bernardino Mountains to the northern shore of the Salton Sea. It is the northernmost extent of the vast trough that includes the Salton Sea, the Imperial Valley and the Gulf of California. It is approximately 15 mi (24 km) wide along most of its length, bounded on the west by the San Jacinto Mountains and the Santa Rosa Mountains and on the north and east by the Little San Bernardino Mountains. The San Andreas Fault crosses the valley from the Chocolate Mountains in the southeast corner and along the centerline of the Little San Bernardinos. The fault is easily visible along its northern length as a strip of greenery against an otherwise bare mountain.

Reception

Reaction by critics to the film was mixed. Roger Ebert gave the film 1½ stars out of four, deeming it a "repetitive, pointless exercise in genre filmmaking—the kind of film where you distract yourself by making a list of the sources". [3] James Berardinelli rated the film three stars out of four, stating "for those who enjoy movies on the edge, U-Turn offers just the trajectory you might expect." [4] Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that it "demonstrates a filmmaker in complete command of his craft and with little control over his impulses". [5] U Turn currently holds a 60% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 50 reviews with the consensus: "U-Turn is a lurid, stylish lark that boasts striking moments but lacks the focus and weight of Oliver Stone's best work."

The film was nominated for two Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst Director (which went to Kevin Costner for The Postman ) and Worst Supporting Actor (Jon Voight, also for Most Wanted ; ultimately, he "lost" to Dennis Rodman for Double Team ). It was also included on Siskel and Ebert's "Worst Films of 1997" episode. [6] In the episode, Siskel reflected that "U Turn [had] the same highly stylised violence as Stone's Natural Born Killers , but without that film's intellectual content, U Turn seems like Stone's attempt at a commercial hit – and he failed, miserably." [6]

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References

  1. Palm Springs Visitors Center. "Coachella Valley Feature Film Production 1920–2011". Filming in Palm Springs. Palm Springs, CA. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved October 1, 2012.Download [ permanent dead link ] (Downloadable PDF file)
  2. "The Hollywood Interview: Oliver Stone: The Hollywood Interview". Thehollywoodinterview.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
  3. "U-Turn :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. 1997-10-03. Retrieved 2010-12-07.
  4. "U-Turn - A Film Review by James Berardinelli". ReelViews.net. Retrieved 2010-12-07.
  5. LaSalle, Mick (1997-10-03). "Stone Makes Scary `U-Turn' / Director's black comedy has style but – typically – gets carried away". Sfgate.com. Retrieved 2010-12-07.
  6. 1 2 Ebert, Roger; Siskel, Gene (17 January 1998). "The Worst Films of 1997". Buena Vista Television.