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#057 Ron Howard: A Beautiful Mind vs. The Dilemma

Download MP3 In today's episode Nate and Austin compare Ron Howard's best and worst rated films, A Beautiful Mind (2001) and Great Expectations (2011), respectively. Nate wakes up a new person and doesn't hate the afternoon killer, Austin hates Jennifer Connelly, and Ramsey wished he was invited onto the Tyler Perry episode, his favorite director. You can find out more about Ramsey's Road Cinema Reviews show on his Facebook here. Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Ron Howard's A Beautiful Mind (2001) and The Dilemma (2011), his best and worst rated films.

Also check out this interview with Ron Howard discussing A Beautiful Mind:

The Dilemma Notes
Worst Rated
PLOT: A man discovers that his best friend's wife is having an affair.
  • Ratings: IMDb 5.3 | RT 24% C / 29% A
  • Released: 2011
  • Director: Ron Howard (Rush, Apollo 13)
  • Writer(s): Allan Loeb (written by)
  • Cinematographer: Salvatore Totino (The Da Vinci Code, Cinderella Man, Frost/Nixon)
  • Notable actors: Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Jennifer Connelly, Winona Ryder, Channing Tatum, Queen Latifah, Amy Morton, Chelcie Ross
  • Budget: $70 million
  • Box office: $69.7 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • The film's trailer caused an almighty fuss because of one line where Vince Vaughn's character says "Electric cars are gay. I mean, not homosexual gay, but my-parents-are-chaperoning-the-dance gay". Universal contacted the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to see how they felt about it; not surprisingly GLAAD were not keen on it. Sure enough, the trailer attracted a lot of criticism for this one line when it was released, even being publicly criticized by Anderson Cooper. Universal were forced to release a new trailer without the offending line. Ron Howard, however, refused to cut the line from the film itself as he felt it was tantamount to censorship.
    • During shooting in the United Center for the "Shoot the Puck" scene, Kevin James actually made it into the net while practicing for the scene. The extras in the United Center erupted with "Chelsea Dagger" to commemorate his accomplishment.

A Beautiful Mind Notes
Best Rated
PLOT: After John Nash, a brilliant but asocial mathematician, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish.
  • Ratings: IMDb 8.2 | RT 75% C / 93% A
  • Released: 2001
  • Director: Ron Howard (Rush, Apollo 13)
  • Writer(s): Akiva Goldsman (written by), Sylvia Nasar (book)
  • Cinematographer: Roger Deakins (The Shawshank Redemption, No Country for Old Men, Sicario)
  • Notable actors: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer, Paul Bettany, Adam Goldberg, Josh Lucas, Anthony Rapp, Jason Gray-Stanford, Judd Hirsch
  • Budget: $58 million
  • Box office: $313 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • The equations seen on the classroom chalk boards are actual equations written by the real life John Nash.
    • John Nash visited the set, and Russell Crowe said later that he had been fascinated by the way he moved his hands, and he had tried to do the same thing in the movie. He thought it would help him get into the character.
    • Nash's mutterings after he loses the board game (along the lines of "the game is flawed," "I had the first move, I should have won") are in reference to "Game Theory," the economic theory that John Nash is probably most famous for.
    • The film was shot in sequence in order to help Russell Crowe develop a consistently progressing manner of behavior.
    • The Riemann Hypothesis mentioned throughout the movie is a real and famous problem in mathematics that has gone unsolved (it has not been proved yet) for nearly 150 years. Many other important theories have been proved on the condition that the Riemann Hypothesis holds, hence its importance. In the year 2000, the Clay Mathematics Institute of Cambridge, Massachusetts listed the Riemann Hypothesis as one of seven "Millennium Prize Problems" and offered a $1,000,000 reward to the person that proves it.
    • The scene towards the end of the film, where John Nash contemplates drinking tea, is based on a true event when Russell Crowe met the real John Nash. He spent fifteen minutes contemplating whether to drink tea or coffee.
    • To create the "golden" look of the campus scenes early in the film, the filmmakers took a low-contrast stock (Fuji F-400 8582) and exposed it to an orange light before loading it into the camera for shooting.
    • John Nash is shown smoking in the film. In reality, he was a militant anti-smoker.
    • Barnard College professor Dave Bayer served as the math advisor on the film, and also was Russell Crowe's hand double for the scenes where he is writing equations on windows, etc.

Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down - Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0

Check out this episode!