Discover the world of the talented director of The Number 23 (2/23/07): Jim Carrey, Virginia Madsen. Schumacher is the director of such classics as "Batman & Robin," "Batman Forever," "The Client," "The Lost Boys" and the upcoming release of "The Church Of The Dead Girls."
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The best thing about this segment of The Directors is director Joel Schumacher's candid acceptance that he is not a masterful filmmaker who's been "touched by the gods." With a career that includes such credits as St. Elmo's Fire, The Lost Boys, Flatliners, Falling Down, and The Client, Schumacher has enjoyed box-office success and a secure place on Hollywood's A-list, but he's hardly an important American filmmaker. A former costume designer and screenwriter, Schumacher is instead an experienced craftsman and pop stylist who readily admits that his success has been largely the result of happy accidents, improvisation, and his keen ability to foster a creative and enjoyable on-set atmosphere. It's clear that actors enjoy working with him; although many of the interview clips have clearly been lifted from other sources, the interviewees--including Nicole Kidman, Kevin Bacon, Dennis Quaid, and Chris O'Donnell--appear genuinely enthusiastic about their work with Schumacher. Unfortunately, the patchwork nature of this program--which is burdened by film clips of needlessly excessive length--echoes the lack of substance that has hampered many of Schumacher's films. The result is a mixed blessing, of value primarily for Schumacher's good-natured awareness of his place in Hollywood. More entertainer than artist, Schumacher is nevertheless an inspiration to aspiring filmmakers: a savvy player with cultivated skills who has triumphed at the highest levels of his chosen profession. --Jeff Shannon
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