Posts Tagged ‘Paul Rudd’

The Slate: How Do You Know, Red State, Gulliver’s Travels

March 23, 2010

The New York Times tells us all it knows about James L. Brooks upcoming How Do You Know. Frankly, it’s not a lot. The recap of the softball romantic comedy, pitched around some “can a big-star rom-com score?” hand-wringing, is that Reese Witherspoon is a ballplayer, and Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson compete for her heart. But did you know that Brooks is “known in these parts as the creator of a “Panic Attack!” cheer for his daughter’s soccer team”? (Or what that means?) And when will I’ll Do Anything get a director’s cut DVD release? (NYT)

Kevin Smith’s Red State, a horror movie which he once claimed was bleaker than Requiem for a Dream, is ready to roll. That’s Kevin Smith-bleak, of course, which for all we know is an empty refrigerator. The film is inspired by right-wing firebrand preacher Fred Phelps. Expect a Dogma-tic approach (i.e., totally headscratching) to the issues. (/Film)

In literary news, Emily Blunt is apparently good enough friends with Philip K. Dick to call him by his first name. She’s also playing a ditzy Lilliputian princess in a Gulliver’s Travels that will have little to do with Jonathan Swift. Raises frightening image of what a “Swift purist” might be like. (Inquirer)

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Trailerama: Extract (Mike Judge, 2009)

April 10, 2009

It’s always worth reminding yourself that Hollywood is a bloodier arena than the Roman senate on the Ides of March. Mike Judge learned this when he made Idiocracy. No film has come close to its skin-crawling vision of the future. Luke Wilson falls asleep for 500 years and wakes up in a world drowning in stupidity. Garbage assumes natural formations, energy drinks have replaced water, Starbucks is a brothel chain, and a pro-wrestler/porn star has become president. It’s American as apple pie and bleak as Haneke‘s Time of the Wolf.

20th Century Fox rewarded this unique vision by not screening the film for critics and releasing it into less theatres than Midnight Meat Train. Opinion was divided as to whether there was too much diss in the dystopia or whether Judge went too far in offending corporations with business ties to News International. Idiocracy didn’t fare much better than the Beavis & Butthead creator’s live action feature debut Office Space. So we can expect him to tread lightly for his latest film Extract, right?

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To the Edge of Pointlessness: Ghostbusters 3

March 29, 2009

ghostbustersDo fans actually sit down and say, “God, wouldn’t it be great if there was another Ghostbusters movie?” History has it that the original 1985 film made $238.6 million on its original release. The 1989 sequel made $112.4 million, suggesting fan enthusiasm had waned over the five years. No doubting the affection in which the first film is held: Rotten Tomatoes has it at 93% positive. Ghostbusters 2? A rating of 53% percent makes it an even blech.

This doesn’t reckon with the Ghostbusters zealot, who presumably has the tattoo, the home-made Proton pack, and the complete animated series on DVD. But now they’re bored. They crave more Venkman and Gozer. And, as MTV reminds us, the combination of an unproven wave of 1980s remakes (Beverly Hills Cop we can kinda understand, but Arthur? Seriously?) and the popularity of the supernatural demonstrated by Twilight, makes Ghostbusters ripe for exhumation. We already know No. 3 is in the works. Now GB vet Harold Ramis provides MTV with the details. How pretty is it?

“We’re all going to be in it in different kinds of roles,” Ramis said. “We’re going to be the sage mentors. There are going to be young Ghostbusters.”

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Knowing: What Happened?

March 25, 2009

knowingPatrick Goldstein tries to get to the bottom of why around 3 million people went to see a Nicolas Cage movie this weekend. The film made $24.8 million, topping the much-slathered over Rudd/Segal I Love You, Man and Owen/Roberts Duplicity. What he learned might shock you. Actually, it won’t. Okay, it might.

I asked three Hollywood marketing gurus for their expert analysis. And while they all had different opinions about the appeal of the film (produced by Summit Entertainment), they agreed on one thing: It wasn’t about Nic Cage. In fact, the consensus was that people don’t go see Nic Cage movies, since there are too many movies in too many genres that all starred Cage that didn’t make a ripple at the box office. In other words, audiences see fantasy adventure fables that happen to star Cage, but not because they star Cage.

In sum, Goldstein’s brain trust explain that the trailer emphasized a similarity between the film and National Treasure in a similar manner to the way I Love You, Man tried to make you think you were watching a Judd Apatow film and Duplicity tried not to make you think you were watching Closer 2: The Next Day.

Goldstein lobs out that Knowing also tapped into the zeitgeist by showing the world falling apart at the same time as the world is falling apart. Looking at that one-sheet, though, all Squally sees is the world turning into a lot of numbers. “It’s better to be lucky than be good,” he writes, which you can put right alongside “Nobody knows anything” and “No one ever went broke underestimating the American public.”

Did you see it? Why? Was it any good?

Jon Hamm Defends the Best Minds of His Generation From Being Destroyed By Madness (Slight Return)

March 25, 2009

jon-hammAll of a sudden, everything’s coming up Allen Ginsberg. Why? Are we envious of the man’s ability to free his spirit in a conformist age? Is it because there’s a bit of a gay, Jewish, quasi-communist, beat poet inside all of us? Is it because it’s still possible to get a chill down the spine when we hear the opening lines of Howl, while “My love is like a red, red rose” just doesn’t cut it anymore? At any rate, now we’ve got not one but TWO upcoming Ginsberg projects to track. Oh, the dharma of it all!

We already know about Kill Your Darlings, the story of David Kammerer’s 1944 murder by Lucien Carr, the young Adonis who brought the various players in the beat scene together in one dysfunctional melange. Now Variety is reporting that Jon Hamm is joining the cast of Howl. The film will follow the 1957 obscenity trial against Ginsberg’s signature work. Bookseller and poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti was tried for peddling a poem that included references to drugs, sodomy and all other manner of behavior that makes Sarah Palin’s toes curl.
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The Slate: Reese Plays Ball, Amanda Doesn’t

March 24, 2009

reese-witherspoon

  • Reese Witherspoon let slip some info on the latest James L. Brooks film. She will play a “professional softball player” who is fought over by a white-collar executive and a pro ballplayer, who will be played by Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson (although not necessarily respectively!). Witherspoon said the improv-friendly writer/director had been working on the film “for about two years now and one day we’ll start filming!” Bill Murray is also due to make an appearance. (WENN)
  • To lose one actress is unfortunate. To lose two looks like carelessness. So far, Sucker Punch is just unfortunate. Amanda Seyfried, she of Mamma Mia! “fame,” has decided there are better places to be then Zack Snyder’s “Alice in Wonderland with machine guns.” “Schedule conflicts” are being blamed, but maybe Seyfried got a whiff of Malin Ackerman’s Watchmen perf and decided Snyder’s feminine touch was best avoided. (Entertainment Weekly)
  • Multi-hyphenate Andy Garcia unveiled his latest dream project Hemingway & Fuentes by noting that Anthony Hopkins was “loosely attached” to star as Ernest Hemingway. The film would look at the last years of the writer’s life and his relationship with Cuban fishing boat cap’n Gregorio Fuentes. Also navigating the ocean of booze mightbe Annette Bening as Hemingway’s wife, Mary. Garcia will co-write and direct. (Hollywood Reporter)
  • In a small act of decency, Twilight sequel New Moon has staffed its Wolf Pack entirely with Native Americans. Smouldering alongside the Pattinson/Stewart axis will be Chaske Spencer, Bronson Pelletier, Alex Meraz, Kiowa Gordon and Tyson Houseman. The actors are of Lakota, Cree-Metis, Purepecha, Hulapai and Cree descent. Somewhere Jay Silverheels (Mohawk) is smiling. (Stepheniemeyer.com)
  • Bryan Singer (X-2) has spent the week getting his ducks in a row. First it was reported that he was thinking of making a “hot revenge thriller project” with Mark Wahlberg. Now Fox has purchased the rights to comic book Freedom Formula: Ghost of the Wasteland. The futuristic graphic novel has jet-packs, genetic engineering and what sounds like a Matrix-style transformation of the world. Singer is producing and could direct. (EW/Variety)

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