The reviews of Oliver Stone’s new sunbaked noirish drama, “U-Turn,” have ranged from rhapsodic to dismissive, but even the pic’s fans are finding something very familiar about its script, based on John Ridley’s novel “Stray Dogs.”It was dismissed as “overly familiar” by the L.A. Times’ Kenneth Turan, while the N.Y. Post’s Thelma Adams tagged it as “completely referential.” But it’s not just the script that’s borrowing heavily from films of yore; even the advertising is taking its cue from hip cinema offerings out of the past. The national print campaign announces the film centers on “Sex. Murder. Betrayal. Everything that makes life worth living.” Someone on the ad production side must be keeping their old press books. United Artists’ 1963 Billy Wilder comedy “Irma La Douce” was nationally sold as “A story of passion, bloodshed, desire and death … everything, in fact, that makes life worth living.” And in 1970, the fledgling New Line Cinema was heavily hyping the Jean-Luc Godard doc on the Rolling Stones, “Sympathy for the Devil,” as “Jean-Luc Godard on Black Power Rape Murder Fascism Acid Pornography Sex Gore Brutality and all the other things that make life worth living.” This might be a case of art not imitating life, but old ad blurbs.
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