This time there's no foolin' and no going back...this blog is over. Thanks to everyone who came by the last three years and hopefully got a chuckle. Now check out my new blog over here.
Posted by Melvin Ayatollahofrock'nrolla at 12:31 PM
Angelina and Brad recently took a trip to Syria to visit refugees displaced by the Iraq conflict. Angie evidently saw something she liked because it's being reported that she has begun the process of adopting one of the poor sunburned victims of George Bush's illegal oil war.
Ah, but this deal isn't going down as smoothly as the last few adoptions/births. Sources say Brad was against adding a 7th kid to the brood, and Angie went ahead without him. People with knowledge of the situation say only Angelina's name is on the adoption papers.
Numerous questions arise in the wake of this news. 1: What color is an Iraqi refugee baby officially and how does this affect the legendary balance? 2: How long before Brad putters off on his motorcycle to find a piece of ass who isn't a deranged baby hoarder? 3: At what point does Shiloh begin her bid to become legally emancipated? 4: How will Octomom react to this shocking news? For that matter, how will Balloon Boy react? 5: When will I stop repeating these silly, unfounded rumors as if they were fact?
Among other things, Matt Weiner's critically acclaimed Mad Men has been a boon to previously obscure actresses like Elisabeth Moss, Christina Hendricks and January Jones. Whatever you think of Weiner's show, there's no question he conceives interesting female roles, and casts the right women in the parts.
Now, an actress who is not obscure but also ain't exactly on top of the heap artistically is about to find out if she can receive a bump from Weiner and his magic pen. If you can see the picture above, then you've already figured out who I'm talking about.
Yes, Jennifer Aniston is set to star in a new project by Matt Weiner. No it is not a TV show. It is instead an indie-level romantic comedy he wrote years ago and is expending some of his Mad Men juice to get made. Aniston will star alongside alleged former partner Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifanakis, with whom she has not been romantically linked as far as I know.
I don't know if this movie will be any good. I do know that Matt Weiner's name will always get me to go see the movie. Even if the name Jennifer Aniston makes me to run screaming in the other direction.
Offering further proof that there is no such thing as a comic book too lame for Hollywood to adapt into a movie, mega-producer Joel Silver is looking to live-actionize Sgt. Rock.
Actually, Silver has been looking to get a piece of Sgt. Rock for awhile, but was hesitant to gamble on a WWII-era period film in a time when most people don't realize history goes back more than four weeks. But Silver has licked that problem in classic Hollywood style: by changing the setting from WWII to The Future.
Not sure exactly how this change will be accomplished. Perhaps they will just entirely ignore the Sgt. Rock I vaguely remember from the dentist's waiting room when I was a kid and pretend it's always been set in The Future. Or maybe they'll have Sgt. Rock discover a Nazi time machine that zaps him ahead a couple hundred years.
Or maybe some Romulans will come through a time portal and change history so Sgt. Rock is turned into a cyborg who is then deep-frozen and wakes up like Luke Wilson in a future so stupid people think you have to water crops with Gatorade. I'd actually pay to see that.
Steven Spielberg and Will Smith had been planning to profane Chan-wook Park's classic revenge film Oldboy ("Yes, animals were harmed or killed during the making of this film") by doing a Hollywoodized remake (think lots less really graphic violence, lots more standard Smith watered-down street punk jive) but the deal has now fallen apart.
This is good news for those who hate Spielberg and Smith and all they stand for, but bad news for fans of the original who had been looking forward to that exquisite arthouse-snot moment when they got to verbally destroy their lame friend who never saw the Korean version but just looooooooved when that cutie Will Smith beat up all those bad guys.
Darren Aronofsky has a soft spot in his heart for victims of bad plastic surgery. He helped resurrect freakface Mickey Rourke's career by casting him in The Wrestler, and now he has plucked Barbara Hershey from the realm of the forgotten and dropped the Jocelyn Wildenstein wannabe into the mix for his forthcoming ballet-centered thriller Black Swan.
I can't tell who who or what Hershey will be playing, but I can tell you that Black Swan concerns a ballerina, played by veggie queen Natalie Portman, who has issues with a dancing rival played by Mila Kunis. Various sources indicate that Aronofsky might be going the twisted Fight Club route here...by having Kunis's character exist only in Portman's imagination.
Those of us who hoped The Wrestler marked a turn away from the fanciful and jack-offy for the talented Aronofsky are apparently in for a disappointment. He can make up for it by having Hershey staple something to herself.
Mad Men is over for another season. The final episode ended with Betty on her way to Reno to get a divorce from Don and the major players of the Sterling-Cooper gang breaking away from the old, soon-to-be-sold-off firm to form their own new agency from scratch. As Don's fake family continued its disintegration, his real family escaped being scattered to the wind, and actually came together stronger than ever.
I'm not going to lie: I teared up a little when Don and Roger said goodbye to the Sterling-Cooper offices. Never again will they, or we, gaze upon that glorious wood paneling, those oft-slammed pastel-colored doors, that sexual-liaison-obscuring translucent glass.
So many memories: The wild election night party when Harry fucked Hildy, and someone puked in Peggy's garbage pail. Pete fucking Peggy on the couch. That British twat getting his foot cut off by the John Deere. Don paying the elevator guy to pretend the lift was out so he and Roger had to walk up all those stairs and Roger puked and almost had a heart attack. Roger having a heart attack while fucking that twin.
So much fucking. So much puking. So much blood. So long, Sterling-Coop.
If I were Roger Ebert or some other twatty critic, I would describe Cinema Paradiso as Giuseppe Tornatore's valentine to the movies. I would discuss how the film is steeped in a child-like love of cinema that warms our hearts and refreshes our souls and makes our gall bladders purr like kittens that just had a nice bowl of warm milk and crawled off to a corner for a snooze. I would mention how nostalgic and bittersweet the movie is, and broadly comic and irreverent, and romantic at times and wistful and all the rest of those nice critic-friendly adjectives.
I might make passing mention of the kids fapping to Brigitte Bardot or the whore who has set up shop in the back of the theater for when people get bored of the latest Visconti meditation on the shittiness of the human condition. By way of adding color.
Because I'm me, I'm going to start with the fapping kids and ignore the nostalgia. Cause nostalgia is for weenies, and thankfully Cinema Paradiso, though fairly reeking of the n-stuff, has enough other tones going on to keep you from wanting to gag as if you were watching an episode of The Wonder Years. I like the fapping kids, and I'll tell you why: because their inclusion demonstrates a willingness to be frank about certain human tendencies, and this frankness is what makes Cinema Paradiso so damn adorable.
Yes, adorable. Not heart-wrenching or soul-stirring or any of that other jive. But cute. Like when teenage Toto breaks into the confession booth so he can have a few moments alone with his would-be lady love Elena. I like good old-fashioned sacrilege, especially when it's not laid on too thick. I like a movie that can portray a priest as a silly old fuddy-duddy without putting too fine a point on it (he's an asshole, but he means well). I like any flick that allows a pre-teen actor to smoke, flip people the bird and leer at slides of Rita Hayworth.
Were I to choose an adjective that sums up Cinema Paradiso, that adjective would be "life-embracing." It is also faintly mystical, but it's an earned mysticism, not the residue of mumbo-jumbo. It's a mysticism of movie images reflected via mirror onto giant outdoor walls, a lovelorn kid reclining next to the water in complete dereliction of duty, boats and sand and all that European shit. There's also a lot of comic child abuse, and comic child abuse never fails.
I got a small chuckle out of this Twilight parody trailer starring Taylor Swift as K-Stew (Swift wishes) and some SNL dude as Robert Pattinson if he were Frankenstein instead of a vampire. The afraid-of-fire thing is a retread of that old Phil Hartman Frankenstein bit, but, SNL recycling its own crap is nothing new, so...
I vaguely remember the original Taking of Pelham One Two Three. It was one of those gritty '70s thrillers that flooded the world in the wake of The French Connection. It starred Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw. There was a subway train. Some guff about passengers being kidnapped for ransom. Walter Matthau wasn't being funny like in The Odd Couple.
Fast-forward to this year. Pelham One Two Three is once again being taken, but this time it's Pelham 1 2 3 (the fewer words people have to read, the better). Walter Matthau is Denzel Washington. Robert Shaw is John Travolta. There's still a subway. Same guff about people being kidnapped for ransom. Only now, instead of that character-centric '70s grit, there's a bunch of Tony Scott histrionics (complete with shoehorned-in car chase, for the big droolers in the crowd) and Travolta doing his me-so-bad-ass routine (which was already old in Face/Off). Thank goodness for Denzel Washington and his patented authenticity. And a script that has been thought about just enough to make you not feel entirely insulted. Except for the ending, which I won't get into.
Another upgrade from the days of Pelham One Two Three: there's lots more bright, blinky, flashy stuff. Computers. Cell phones. A subway control center modeled after the war room in Dr. Strangelove. What did criminals do before WiFi? Shoved heaters in people's guts and told them to put 'em up, I guess.
Gwyneth Paltrow is putting her quest to become the next Martha Stewart on hold long enough to portray the wife of post-op transsexual Nicole Kidman in Tomas Alfredson's The Danish Girl.
Yes, Nicole Kidman as a tranny (typecasting if I ever saw it) and Gwyneth Paltrow as his/her wife. Charlize Theron was originally going to play the wife, but she must've realized that playing anything opposite Kidman as a tranny had second-fiddle written all over it.
Paltrow, on the other hand, doesn't mind playing second-fiddle to Nicole Kidman. Or fourth-fiddle to Robert Downey, Mickey Rourke and Scarlett Johansson as she will be doing in Iron Man 2.
One thing's for sure: when Gwyneth shows up on the set, she will have a clean colon.
25 years after Claude Chabrol's dull-as-dirt version, Patricia Highsmith's novel The Cry of the Owl is making its way back to movie screens.
The new adaptation will star Julia Stiles as the wack-job attracted to peeping tom Paddy Considine. Thankfully, Anthony Minghella is in his grave and therefore cannot be hired to ruin this movie the same way he ruined Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley, a terse and enigmatic book that Minghella managed to turn into a pretty, brainless travelogue of Italy.
Chuck Berry once said, "Beware middlebrows with guitars." I saw, "Beware middlebrows with movie cameras, especially when they don't understand down-and-dirty, reportage-style pulp storytelling."
I can't imagine why anyone would think a sequel to Ghost Rider was a good idea. Nevertheless, a Ghost Rider 2 is being made, and Nicolas Cage is on for the title role.
According to writer David Goyer, the new film will represent a shift in tone away from pure comic book mayhem to something "darker" and "more realistic." But, says Goyer, "It's not exactly a reboot."
Perhaps raising the bar of expectations higher than someone should who is working on a sequel to a movie everyone thinks is crap, Goyer adds, "What Casino Royale was to the Bond movies, hopefully this will be to Ghost Rider."
Or, maybe trying to make a movie about a dude with a flaming skull for a head who rides around on a motorcycle is just a bad idea pure and simple?
In my capacity as your #1 source for Steve Guttenberg movie news, I am obligated to inform you that, 19 years after Mr. Guttenberg and his buddies Tom Selleck and Ted Danson delighted us with Three Men and a Little Lady, the sequel to their smash hit Three Men and a Baby, Disney is at last fulfilling our wishes by developing a third Three Men and a... film.
At least according to Steve Guttenberg.
"That's going to be a smash. A smash hit," Guttenberg said of the as-yet-unnamed film. "They're bringing everybody back for that. Nobody knows about it. I'm the first to talk about it."
Now, I'm sure there are those who think reviving this particular franchise is an absurd idea, but these people are wrong. These people do not realize that, right now, there is nothing bigger than '80s nostalgia. From Michael Jackson to Rambo to Mad Max, it's all about digging up '80s icons, dusting them off and squeezing out every dime you can before the '80s sentimentalists die of swine flu or become too senile to remember how much they loved Dolph Lundgren when they were 25 and too drunk to know better.
The Disney people may be crass and exploitative, but they are not stupid. They know a good property when they see one. They know people are yearning for a return to a more innocent time, a time when the names Guttenberg, Selleck and Danson meant box-office gold. And, since the girl in Three Men and a Little Lady would be roughly in her mid-twenties right now, they have a ready-made property for Ashley Tisdale (who, despite being in all those High School Musical movies, is actually 24).
This is not only a good idea, it is a great idea. It is a movie that has to be made. It is exactly the thing Steve Guttenberg needs, so he can finally get his stuff out of hock.
A Russian-language trailer for Angelina Jolie's forthcoming thriller Salt has bubbled up from the great frothing mire of the internet. Yes, this is the movie that was supposed to star Tom Cruise until someone decided the story would be better if the lead character had a vagina and a pair of juicy tatas. Tom doesn't have juicy tatas.
I guess Balthazar Getty is done messing around with Lindsay Lohan, because he has been spotted going out for manicures and massages with Sienna Miller.
I suppose it's possible for a guy to go out for manicures and massages with his friend who happens to be a smoking hot female movie star without it being a sign that they are in a sexual relationship. And it's also possible that a gold-shitting unicorn ridden by a Keebler elf could come crashing through my door at any moment.
(I know I said I'd restrict all gossipy items to A-listers from now on, but I'm making an exception for Sienna and Balthazar)
Studmuffin Hugh Jackman has been booted as Oscar host after one year, and will be replaced by banjo-playing grandpa Steve Martin and crazed liberal child-verbal-abuser Alec Baldwin.
"We think the team of Steve and Alec are the perfect pair of hosts for the Oscars," said show producers in a statement. "Steve will bring the experience of having hosted the show in the past and Alec will be a completely fresh personality for this event."
Fresh personality? How about psychotic personality? Is there any chance of Baldwin getting through the event without going off on Bill O'Reilly and/or ex-wife Kim Basinger?
Actually, that could be entertaining. Not the rant itself but the sight of Baldwin's head getting purpler and purpler and the foam spewing out of his mouth. And him clutching his chest and collapsing into a twitching heap on the stage.
And Steve Martin distracting everyone from Baldwin's myocardial infarction by breaking into a banjo solo.
Eh...I'd still rather just look at Hugh.
The owners of the rights to The Terminator have expressed their desire to sell that particular franchise (it was probably worth more before Terminator: Salvation came along). And lo and behold, they already have one prospective bidder: geek-auteur Joss Whedon, who expressed his interest in purchasing the moribund film property via an amusing open letter which I will now reprint:
An Open Letter to the Terminator Owners. From a Very Important Hollywood Mogul
I am Joss Whedon, the mastermind behind Titan A.E., Parenthood (not the movie) (or the new series) (or the one where 'hood' was capitalized 'cause it was a pun), and myriad other legendary tales. I have heard through the 'grapevine' that the Terminator franchise is for sale, and I am prepared to make a pre-emptive bid RIGHT NOW to wrap this dealio up. This is not a joke, this is not a scam, this is not available on TV. I will write a check TODAY for $10,000, and viola! Terminator off your hands.
No, you didn't miscount. That's four -- FOUR! -- zeroes after that one. That's to show you I mean business. And I mean show business. Nikki Finke says the Terminator concept is played. Well, here's what I have to say to Nikki Finke: you are a fine journalist and please don't ever notice me. The Terminator story is as formative and important in our culture -- and my pretend play -- as any I can think of. It's far from over. And before you Terminator-Owners (I have trouble remembering names) rush to cash that sweet cheque, let me give you a taste of what I could do with that franchise:
1) Terminator... of the Rings! Yeah, what if he time-travelled TOO far... back to when there was dragons and wizards? (I think it was the Dark Ages.) Hasta La Vista, Boramir! Cool, huh? "Now you gonna be Gandalf the Red!" RRRRIP! But then he totally helps, because he's a cyborg and he doesn't give a s#&% about the ring -- it has no power over him! And he can carry it AND Frodo AND Sam AND f@%& up some orcs while he's doing it. This stuff just comes to me. I mean it. (I will also offer $10,000 for the Lord of the Rings franchise).
2) More Glau. Hey. There's a reason they're called "Summer" movies.
3) Can you say... musical? Well don't. Even I know that's an awful idea.
4) Christian Bale's John Connor will get a throat lozenge. This will also help his Batwork (ten grand for that franchise too, btw.)
5) More porn. John Connor never told Kyle Reese this, but his main objective in going to the past was to get some. What if there's a lot of future-babies that have to be made? Cue wah-wah pedal guitar -- and dollar signs!
6) The movies will stop getting less cool.
Okay. There's more -- this brain don't quit! (though it has occasionally been fired) -- but I think you get my drift. I really believe the Terminator franchise has only begun to plumb the depths of questioning the human condition during awesome stunts, and I'd like to shepherd it through the next phase. The money is there, but more importantly, the heart is there. But more importantly, money. Think about it. End this bloody bidding war before it begins, and put the Terminator in the hands of someone who watched the first one more than any other movie in college, including "Song of Norway" (no current franchise offer). Sincerely, Joss Whedon.
Wow. Joss Whedon just went up a tiny notch in my esteem. I may now even endeavor to see one of his movies or watch one of his TV shows. Soon as I get done weaving my belly-button lint into yarn.
Sin City, besides being one of those obnoxiously over-designed green screen monstrosities, was also vilely misogynistic and frankly childish in its psycho-sadist comic book drone view of the universe. And now there's going to be a sequel!
The news came straight from producer Stephen L'Heureux, who said the movie will go into production in early 2010. And by "production" I mean, well-known actors will stand in front of a big green wall reciting horrible overcooked dialogue while geeks with computers sit in some dark room creating a jack-off noir-graphic-novel universe to pin said actors against like helpless insects.
The bundle of pure newborn-puppy-like joy will come to movie screens some time in 2011.
Posted by Melvin Ayatollahofrock'nrolla at 12:18 PM
A trailer is up for Jake Gyllenhaal's Prince of Persia: Pretty Eyes and Long Hair Make Us Happy in the Place We're Not Supposed to Touch. It's Disney, so, it will only be sneaky-dirty, not flat-out like we want.
Eduardo Sanchez, one of the makers of the original Blair Witch Project, says that after years of trying to escape being "the guy who made Blair Witch," he is ready to embrace his crappy-horror-movie legacy and do a Blair Witch 3.
If only someone will let him.
To that end, Sanchez says that he and co-BWP-creator Daniel Myrick have walked the old Blair Witch grounds seeking inspiration, and come up with something they're ready to sell.
"We're at the step where we're about to pitch to Lionsgate, which owns the movie rights now," Sanchez said. "It's pretty much up to them. They can completely squash it or greenlight it."
In the wake of Paranormal Activity aka Blair Witch 2009, Sanchez and Myrick probably feel now is the perfect time to revisit the one good idea they ever had, and try to resuscitate their careers.
I say I would rather drink a giant mug of paint thinner and chase it with liquefied rat dung than sit through another 90 minutes of bad actors blowing snot into a hand-held camera being operated by a palsy victim. But that's just me. And most of the world.
Some goofy British fucker is pissed off at Mad Men for what he claims is an inaccurate depiction of the company London Fog, which featured in an early Season 3 episode.
The fucker says Mad Men is wrong to say that London Fog was a failing company in the early '60s, and is way wrong when it shows Sterling-Cooper solving their image problem by releasing a sexy advert starring a nude model.
Fucker also says that the advertising industry was not moribund in the early '60s, as the show suggests, but was in fact vibrant and alive. The man criticizes the show for showing ad men as "dinosaurs trapped in the '50s."
Dear fucker: Congratulations, you got the point of the show. That Don Draper and Roger Sterling and everyone else are still stuck in the '50s, and that Sterling-Cooper is a dying operation compared to other, more chic and modern ad agencies.
Dear fucker continued: The show uses its depiction of the past to comment on the present, hence the poetic license. Someone find this idiot and slap him around for me, 'kay?
By the way, last night's episode: Totally shocked when the dude shot Oswald. Didn't see that coming at all. That's why the Mad Men writers ROCK.
Warners is scheming to get Bucket List stars Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson back together for another sure pot o' geriatric comedy gold. They already have a script, called "Dirty Old Men," and have Freeman all signed up. The story would apparently star Nicholson as an aging playboy (typecasting) and Freeman as his old pal who tries to break up his new romance (with Evan Rachel Wood, probably.).
Way up high on the list of things I never saw coming is "Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman become the new Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor."
Nicolas Cage has made millions of dollars over the years starring in cinematic masterpieces like Ghost Rider and The Wicker Man. Nevertheless, as we speak, Nicolas Cage finds himself facing bankruptcy and a possible ass-whupping by the IRS.
And how exactly does one of the most successful movie stars in the world end up in such dire straits? It's simple. He hired someone else to watch his money, then didn't watch the guy he hired to watch his money.
The guy, business advisor Samuel Levin, is now being sued by Cage for "[lining] his pockets with several million dollars in business management fees while sending Cage down a path toward financial ruin."
"Financial ruin" in this case means a reported $20 million in losses, including $6 million owed to the IRS and $5 million in mortgage debt. He needs to get on the horn with the tax relief specialists, stat.
Actually, Cage has already begun the process of trying to restore his financial standing. He has sold off assets including his comic book collection and Bavarian castle.
Imagine, a man with a $2 million comic book collection and his own personal Bavarian castle being irresponsible with money.
Sadly, Nic Cage has no one to blame for this but himself. Nic Cage wanted to live a life free from responsibility and care. Nic Cage wanted to blow bucks on silly things and not worry about all that messy financial reality. Nic Cage wanted to read his comic books, have his friends over to his Bavarian castle, marry Elvis's daughter and basically stay 14 forever.
And - surprise, surprise - some unscrupulous person came along, realized what an easy mark the devil-may-care Nic Cage would be, and took him for all he could get.
Let this be a warning to all you big-shot movie stars who don't want to deal with all that irritating paper work and legal stuff: there are people who will pretend to want to help you, but they actually want to screw you. Yes, it's true - sometimes when people flatter you and kiss your ass, they are only trying to get in with you so they can rip you off. They don't actually mean all the compliments.
Poor Nic Cage. Poor dumb, self-involved bastard.