Oliver Stone's birthday wish? A return to his '80s success
When Oliver Stone blows out the 64 candles on his birthday cake today, a lot of things could be going through his head. "God, I hope Wall Street 2 isn't a box office dog." "Why did I cast accent-impaired Kevin Costner in a movie about JFK?" "Do I really need to blow out birthday candles at my age?!?"
What he should be wishing for is a return his glory days in the late '70s and '80s. Stone could do no wrong! Beginning in 1978, he wrote (or co-wrote) Midnight Express, Conan the Barbarian and Scarface. Though he began directing in the early '70s, he seemed to start his hot streak in 1986 with Salvador, followed by Platoon, Wall Street and Talk Radio.
And then, the wheels starting falling off the bandwagon. Born on the Fourth of July in '89 was good, but not great. The Doors in 1991 was maybe the last hurrah. What followed was a mess, at least to my personal tastes: JFK, Natural Born Killers, Nixon and Any Given Sunday, easily the worst movie about football at any level. (Yes, worse than Little Giants and those flicks about Gus, the field goal-kicking mule.)
Will Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps turn it around? I'm thinking yes. But while greed is good, talent is priceless. And we could all use a little of the Stone magic again these days.
TOP 5 OLIVER STONE MOVIES AS DIRECTOR:
5. TALK RADIO (1988): "There's nothing more boring than people who love you."
4. THE DOORS (1991): "This is the strangest life I've ever known."
3. SALVADOR (1986): "A pathological killer on the right, God-knows-what on the left, and a gutless middle."
2. WALL STREET (1987): "The main thing about money, Bud, is that it makes you do things you don't want to do."
1. PLATOON (1986): "I love this place at night. The stars... there's no right or wrong in them. They're just there."