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Good Shepherd reviews - Matt Damon News Column
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Good Shepherd reviews
  • Very early test screening reviews of The Good Shepherd are available at Aint It Cool News and IMDB. The current cut is just over three hours, and many scenes of the younger Edward (early relationship, college days) appear not to have been included. There have been some rumors that the film may be split into two parts.

  • The NY Post has a story on Hollywood actors who are considering theatre roles, and predicts their likelihood of success, based on comments from producers and agents:

    Matt Damon
    Damon appeared in the West End in Kenneth Lonergan's "This Is Our Youth" a few years ago. New York theater people who saw it said he was terrific.

    Last year, he did a reading of a new Longergan play, "Hold on to Me, Darling," about a country singer. Once again, people who saw him raved, and he came very close to doing the play but opted for a movie instead.

    Hollywood's booked him for the forseeable future, but he's sure to appear on stage in New York one day.

  • Here's the online text from Entertainment Weekly's current article about star salaries. Matt's in one of the higher categories under the 'Decent bets' section:

    He braved several post-Good Will Hunting flops (e.g., All the Pretty Horses) and emerged as a solid, dependable draw with the Bourne and Ocean's series. Still a little iffy, though, on non-franchise fare like The Brothers Grimm and Stuck on You.

  • More details about the African trip are emerging slowly. Here's some info about the visit to an organic cotton program at African Development Foundation:

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
    Actor and Oscar-winner Matt Damon, traveling with DATA (Debt Aids Trade Africa), the Africa advocacy group co-founded by U2 lead singer Bono, visited an ADF-funded organic cotton farming project in Zambia earlier last week. Damon was in southern Africa on a listening and learning trip about the opportunities available in the fight against extreme poverty. The Chongwe Organic Producers and Processors Association (CHOPPA) in Chongwe District gave Damon an opportunity to observe an equitable trade initiative during his travels.

    Matt is currently Executive Producer for Running the Sahara, a documentary feature film that will shoot in Africa and accompany an awareness and charity campaign to help with health and clean water-related issues in the region.

    This was Matt’s first visit to Zambia and was designed to introduce him to the peoples of Africa, the challenges they face and African-led solutions to poverty. He made the trip with his older brother, Kyle.

    The visit to CHOPPA by Matt Damon was the second time that representatives from DATA have visited this ADF project. He was accompanied by Erin Thornton and Tayloe Emery, both from DATA’s Washington, DC office, and Jetty Lungu and Agatha Ambizule from ADF’s Lusaka Field Office. The team from DATA spent time touring certified organic cotton fields currently receiving support under the ADF CHOPPA project and learning about the challenges and potential benefits to farmers of organic cotton farming. Matt Damon thanked ADF and CHOPPA for arranging the visit, stating that "Things look very promising here. See you next time."

    Caption: Actor Matt Damon (in red cap), accompanied by his brother Kyle (centre) and Erin Thornton of DATA (extreme left), speak with Zambian organic cotton farmers Peter Mpilipili and Moses Mulenga
  • 26 comments or Leave a comment
    Comments
    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 10th, 2006 09:58 am (UTC) (Link)

    Charity Work

    It's fabulous the work he's doing for the charities he's involved with. If people like him keep applying the pressure governments are more likely to keep their promises for debt relief in Africa.

    The Good Shepherd screening sounds very interesting. The editors must have worked day and night to get a screening ready so soon after filming finished.

    I read an article that De Niro shot for 84 days, everyone involved must have been exhausted by the end.
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: May 10th, 2006 10:28 am (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Charity Work

    The Brothers Grimm shoot was over 100 days - he's got a history of long, difficult shoots. Here's the shooting dates for Shepherd: 8/15/05-1/30/06

    Matt described "The Good Shepherd" as "really ambitious", and it was known as the best unproduced script around, so you know it's going to be a difficult sell for the average movie-goer. Which could make it brilliant, or make it easily forgotten.

    The African charity work is similar in substance to that undertaken by Brad, George and other celebs, but he's approaching it in a different, understated way. And that's great. Let's see if he's got the time to commit to the project, and future initiatives.

    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 10th, 2006 03:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

    Re: Charity Work

    Didn't the Brothers Grimm close down for 2 weeks because of problems?
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: May 11th, 2006 02:04 am (UTC) (Link)
    I believe it still filmed for over 100 days (perhaps 110). Any shutdowns were during the late pre-production stage.
    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 10th, 2006 03:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
    That second reviewer probably thought that M:i:III was da bomb considering he needed CGI to make TGS enjoyable.

    I've always thought that a screening so far before the premiere was suppose to help the director know what worked and what didn't. And while this movie may be 2+ hours, I highly doubt that it'll be 3+.

    But there are times that I wish they'd hired someone else to play the wife. This is Matt's movie, not Angelina's.

    JJ--
    From: (Anonymous) Date: May 10th, 2006 05:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
    wow thanks for all the great information lately. i cant wait to see the good shepherd!
    mattdamoncolumn From: mattdamoncolumn Date: May 11th, 2006 03:30 am (UTC) (Link)

    New article

    There's a new article on the AP wire with some quotes by Matt about his trip. A new photo is also at yahoo - I'll update with both later.

    The article is here:
    http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2006/05/10/matt_damon_urges_funding_for_aids_assistance_overseas/
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