Part III in the bat shit auteur vs. the other bat shit auteur filmmaker feud.
Let's recap quickly, shall we? Fearlessly nutty German director Werner Herzog is directing a remake of Bronx-born dirtbag Abel Ferrara's degenerate classic, "Bad Lieutenant," with Nicolas Cage.
News of the re-do naturally pissed off the perennially irritable and cantankerous Ferrara and he wished cancer on the filmmakers' colon and death in "hell. I hope they’re all in the same streetcar, and it blows up,” he cheerily told reporters in Cannes.
As you might of imagined, Herzog - who's seen all kinds of shit in his life and been shot with an air rifle and shrugged about it - simply brushed the dirt of his shoulder. "Let him rave and rant; it's good music in the background," Herzog said unconcerned, but then dropped a tiny, but powerful nuclear blast.
'I have no idea who Abel Ferrara is. Is he Italian? Is he French? Who is he?" Remember in Looney Toons when Daffy Duck would blow a gasket? Yeah, that's probably exactly what Ferrara did, turning red and probably exploded all over the room.
Known for giving good quote, reporters will naturally ask Herzog about his thoughts on the matter for the rest of his days and Vulture did exactly that when they caught up with him earlier this week. Herzog admitted he was a magnet for weirdos (if you know his ouevre even slightly, you know this is a hilarious understatement). "I have a tendency to attract these kinds of people," he said without a trace of irony (Herzog once plotted to kill actor Klaus Kinski on the set of the massively troubled epic "Fitzcarraldo," much of the sheer insanity of that film experience is captured in two extraordinary documentaries, Herzog's own "My Best Fiend" and "Burden of Dreams"; both are must-sees).
Apparently Herzog not only attracts the crazies he gets a lot of death threats too, but evidently he just brushes those off too. "I have no idea why, but I can live with it," Herzog said. "It's fine. So of course I can live with the fact that Ferrara is ranting and raving. Wonderful! Can't get any better."
He also told Ferrara to take a chill pill. "['Bad Lieutenant' the remake] is a completely different story and a completely different setup, so the films have nothing to do with each other," adding insult to injury by claiming he'd never even see the original version.
Jesus, Ferrara is going to have a stroke! Who knew Herzog was such a virtuoso of the subtle but deadly diss masterstroke. "But it doesn't matter. I heard he has a good face. Maybe he should play a gangster in the movie."
Wow, this is going to get good and ugly. Our suggestion is to duck and fucking cover. Herzog's Antarctica documentary, "Encounters at the End of the World" comes out next week.
Part III in the bat shit auteur vs. the other bat shit auteur filmmaker feud.
A classic finally arrives on DVD (hell, it was never on VHS!). Remember the cult punk/proto riot grrrl film, "Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains" which starred a teenage Diane Lane, Laura Dern, Ray Winstone and Christine Lahti? The 1981 flick is back thanks to Rhino records' Rock 'n' Roll Cinema series. Directed by music mogul Lou Adler, the film also feature ex-Sex Pistols Steve Jones and Paul Cook, The Clash's Paul Simonon, Fee Waybill from The Tubes.
Written by former SNL scribe Nancy Dowd and director Jonathan Demme, the film was a gigantic bomb at the time, but developed a huge cult in the ensuing twenty years after its release. In 1998, the movie received its first official screening at the Chicago underground film festival 18 years after it was first released and its impact and influence has touched punk and riot grrl icons like Pat Smear, L7, Courtney Love and Bikini Kill. [USA Today]
It was reported that Polyphonic Spree mastermind Tim DeLaughter had composed the music for the film, "Assassination of a High School President," which screened at the 2008 SXSW film festival in March. However, it turns out that Italian composer Daniele Lupi actually wrote the score (though DeLaughter may have played it? It's not entirely clear). However, DeLaughter did write the score for the oddball Zach Galifianakis comedy "Visioneers" about a man who tries to ignore an epidemic which causes people to explode from stress. Meanwhile, Luppi is currently working with DangerMouse and ex-Faith No More/Mr. Bungle singer Mike Patton [Upcoming Film Scores]
We were right about Jon Brion. He is composing the score to the "Step Brothers" film directed by Adam McKay and starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reily. The musician/composer/producer just wrapped production on the score on Wednesday reportedly conducting an 80-piece orchestra. We can't wait to hear this. Someone put him in touch with us again. [Extended Play]
In other score related news, French composer Alexandre Desplat is writing the music for David Fincher's "The Curious Case Of Benjammin Button." This will be the first collaboration for Fincher and Desplat (we wrote something else to the contrary, but we were high when we wrote it, apologies) who is known for works like "Syriana," "Lust, Caution" and one of our personal favorite, the haunting score to Jonathan Glazer's "Birth." Australian musician David Hirschfelder, is writing the music for Baz Luhrmann's adventure romance epic "Australia."
Transformers 2 is apparently called "Transformers 2: Revenge Of The Fallen."
This was on Michael Bay's website. Does anyone not remember him saying there was going to be a big disinformation campaign? We would have liked to see at least one of the nerds who have diligently followed this news at least make some note of that. [Coming Soon]
Documentary Clip: Making of 'Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains'
Scene: On The Bus: 'Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains' (3 scenes from the film)
Alright, Spike, you done gone n' done it. Clint Eastwood is pissed.
During Cannes 2008, loudmouthed Spike Lee - who was there to promote his afro-centric WWII movie "Miracle At St. Anna" - called out Eastwood for his lack of portraying blacks in the 'Iwo Jima' films he made in2006 (FYI, 'Miracle didn't screen, but an eight-minute trailer was played).
"Eastwood made two films about Iwo Jima that ran for more than four hours total and there was not one Negro actor on the screen. If you reporters had any balls you'd ask him why," Lee said clearly ingratiating himself to the same reporters who would eventually review his film.
The U.K. Times asked Eastwood about the remark on the same day at Cannes, but the filmmaker refused to acknowledge the question. But apparently he's been asked too many time as Lee is clearly entered the director/actor's line of fire.
"The story is Flags of Our Fathers, the famous flag-raising picture, and they didn't do that," Eastwood told the Guardian. "If I go ahead and put an African-American actor in there, people'd go: 'This guy's lost his mind.' I mean, it's not accurate." Referring to Lee, he added: "A guy like him should shut his face."
Wait, a "guy like that," oooh, what does that mean!? Dangerously close Clint. You pull that shit in Fort Green (where Lee's 40 Acres & A Mule production company lives) to the wrong Huxtable and you could get yourself a stern talking to!
In the article, Eastwood notes that this isn't the first time Lee has got up in his grill. "He was complaining when I did 'Bird' (the 1988 biopic of Charlie Parker starring Forrest Whitaker). Why would a white guy be doing that? I was the only guy who made it, that's why. He could have gone ahead and made it. Instead he was making something else."
Eastwood said he wasn't about to change the make-up of his films to please Lee, the NAACP or any other cracker who gets up in his business. "What are you going to do, make it look like a commercial for an equal opportunity player?," he asked. "I'm not in that game. I'm playing it the way I read it historically, and that's the way it is. When I do a movie and it's 90% black, like Bird, then I use 90% black people."
Eastwood's next project is about Nelson Mandela starring Morgan Freeman and considering Lee has yet to sign off on that and give his African-American OK, we're sure this isn't the last we'll hear from these two. Fight! Fight! a n---- and a w----!
[ed. does all this mean the Coens bros. are going to pick a fight too?]
The fine L.A. Times music blog (who also has a keen interest in movies), Extended Play, got a chance to sit down with "The Wackness" director Jonathan Levine and talk about the music in the film – 1994 era'd hip-hop that is integral to the film and the place and time to which the story takes place.
As EPlay notes, "The Wackness," won the Sundance 2008 audience award, was quickly picked up for distribution by Sony Pictures Classics, and now Jive/Sony will be releasing 13-song soundtrack on June 24 (we have the tracklist below; a bonus edition will feature two additional tracks).
[For those not keeping score, the film is a coming-of-age story set in 1994 about a latchkey weed-dealing teenager (Josh Peck) who befriends and sells pot to his unconventional therapist (Ben Kingsley), but things get complicated when he unexpectedly falls in love with said shrinks daughter (played by 2008 It-girl Olivia Thirlby).]
Very notably, the forward-thinking writer/director actually wrote the music into the script well in advance, and with the assistance of his music supervisor, was able secure a deal for a soundtrack months before taking the film to Sundance.
Similarly, Jive Records even got involved in the soundtrack deal before the film premiered. "Things changed in that we could focus on getting their artists. They have the Jive catalog, which is pretty much the best stuff from the era," Levine told Extended Play. "We focused on getting as much Jive stuff as possible, like KRS-One, [Wu-Tang Clan member] Raekwon and Nas. It was very helpful. It gave us a focus, since there’s so much different stuff in that era" (the film also features tracks by R.Kelly, Faith Evans, Craig Mack and Method Man who has a small role in the film as a Jamaican weed dealer).
Evidently, as far ahead of the game as Levine was, there was still a lot of music he couldn't get for film including a lot of "bad rock," from that era like, Counting Crowes and Hootie and the Blowfish. Desired R&B tracks by Mary J. Blige and TLC where also cost-prohibitive (though we're almost positive we heard some Mary in the early March screening we saw) and alt-rock like Weezer, Radiohead ("The Bends") and the Smashing Pumpkins ("Siamese Dream") just didn't fit into the running time of the film.
The film takes place shortly after Kurt Cobain's death and their is references to his passing in the film, but Levine didn't even make the attempt to clear "Lithium," a song that the scene was originally written to.
"We didn’t even bother. I don’t know what getting a Nirvana song entails. I think we would have had to screen it for Courtney Love and then pay a lot of money. I don’t know -- we just figured it wasn’t going to happen," he said.
A Tribe Called Quest's "Can I Kick It" and its iconic Lou Reed sample from "Walk On The Wild Side," was a key track used to bring the fledgling teenager and the aged therapist. The fact that they even could clear it was somewhat of a miracle, but the surrounding circumstances made it a lucky score.
"I don’t think there was much demand for ['90s hip-hop], and people were just happy to contribute their songs to a movie. Also, we got [Sony BMG] behind us, and they were able to hook us up," Levine stressed. "[As] for the Kingsley character, this was exemplified in the music of the late ‘60s/early ‘70s, and I think he sees some sort of commonality with the music of Luke’s childhood. I think having that Lou Reed sample brings everything full circle."
For self-appointed pop vulture gatekeepers who wince at the mere mention of pop-culture-like dialogue, "I got mad love for you, shorty," and feel the need to defend it at every turn, (hello and hello), please just don't bother seeing the movie and spare us all (me) the aggravation. Sometimes kids deliver pop-like speak, ok? It's not the end of the world (Generally these are music people who routinely ignore movies, but poke their head out of the sand every six months when a film dares to have some music connection that they haven't pre-approved - please go away, thank you).
Meanwhile, Levine has put another 'Wackness'-inspired mixtape from Mixwit online that features great tracks from The Beastie Boys, Souls of Mischief, Big L, A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, Herb Alpert, Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer, Mobb Deep and more (his first mix is here). The film opens up in theaters on July 3 and the L.A. hip-hop group Move.Meant is featured in the film's trailer.
"The Wackness" soundtrack tracklist (all the music featured in the film - which is not almost identical, is here)
01. "The What" - Biggie Smalls
02. "You Used to Love Me" - Faith Evans
03. "Flava in Your Ear" -Craig Mack
04. "Summertime" - Fresh Prince
05. "Can’t Ya See" - Total
06. "I Can’t Wake Up" - KRS-One
07. "The World is Yours" - Nas
08. "Can I Kick It?" -A Tribe Called Quest
09. "Heaven or Hell" - Raekwon
10. "Bump and Grind" - R. Kelly
11. "Just a Friend" - Biz Markie
12. "Tearz" - Wu Tang Clan
13. "Long Shot Kick the Bucket" - The Pioneers
including bonus tracks edition
14. "All the Young Dudes" - Mott the Hoople
15. "Season of the Witch" - Donovan
Don't you hate random (movie) sites that can be bothered call out the news in their interviews / have zero editorial skills / don't even know what content they have? (i.e. "Interview with Paul Rudd on the set of "I Love You, Man," i.e. "We Have No Clue What We're Doing Even Though We Have Great Access To Actors/Directors, Etc.")
We digress. We decided to read IESB.net for some reason (because we like to slog through long-winded interviews that go nowhere trolling for news that they have, but don't know what to do with; not just music/movie news either; need an editor for pete's sake?) and we came across this interview with actor Paul Rudd on the set of his upcoming comedy, "I Love You, Man," which centers on a newly engaged, but fairly bff-challenged dude (The Rudd) who sets out to find the perfect "Best Man" for his wedding (the film also stars Jason Segel - who eventually becomes the bff - Jaime Pressly, Cara Gallo (!!) and the lovely Rashida Jones as his fiance). [ed. It's like the Judd Apatow film that's not a Judd Apatow film. But it's exec-produced by Ivan Reitman]
As it turn out, Canadian mathematics and sciences/ environmental studies power rock trio, Rush will be featured in the movie in what sounds like a concert scene and apparently Rudd also plays some bass in the movie onstage (but not with the band; or something like that IESB is naturally short on details)
"[Rush are] in the movie and we didn’t have any scenes where I engaged with them, I was just a fan dancing in the show, but I got to meet them, and Jason [Segel] and I actually interviewed them and I was nervous and like, 'How do you interview 'Rush'?' They seem also to be really a band that has shied away, they’ve really lived the words of 'Limelight', living in the limelight, it’s surreal and they can’t pretend that a stranger is a long waited friend, I just kept thinking that when I was trying to buddy up to them, but they were very funny and very friendly."And big fans of "Team America" evidently.
"I don’t know how the topic of 'South Park' and 'Team America' came up, [but when it did] they all went crazy and started talking, and quoting it, and it was just really weird to be exchanging 'Team America' quotes with Neil Peart.”Lol. "I Love You, Man" is directed by Paul Hamburg ("Along Came Polly," some "Undeclared" episodes, "Stella") and is due in theaters January 2009. We love the Rudd, so we can't wait.
Another Marvin Gaye biopic? Yup. F. Gary Gray, the director behind "The Italian Job" and the stoner comedy, "Friday," is finally getting his with to direct "Marvin," from a script written by C. Gaby Mitchell (the guy who wrote "Blood Diamond").
According to Variety, Gray has long wanted to helm a Gaye biopic, but music rights were always an issue. But now the producers of the film apparently have complete music rights to Gaye's catalog, including hits like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Heard It Through the Grapevine," "What's Goin' On" and "Let's Get It On."
The difference between this doc and the upcoming James Gandolfini produced Gaye flick, "Sexual Healing," starring Jesse L. Martin ("Law & Order")? Apparently 'Healing' only has the rights to Gaye's post Motown records work which is one of the central reasons why that film will center on his declining years and European emmigration only (the last three years of his life). 'Marvin' on the other rights has carte blanche to the classic Motown years, so the Gray film will cover his entire life, from his rise to fame, to his European exile, to his comeback and then untimely death at the hands of his father in 1984. Gray told Variety:
"This is my passion project, the one that I wake up every day thinking about. I'm going to tell a truthful story, and there is no shortage of drama and extreme conflict in a relationship with his father that at its core is Shakespearean and tragic. This isn't the average biopic of a rock star wrestling with drugs and women, but a man whose musical awakening became a call to action that questioned critical issues like a costly foreign war, recession, environment, inequality -- issues that are relevant now."One of the producers on the project said, "My mantra was, no music, no movie, but to me, the core story is a man who spent his whole life trying to justify and prove himself to a father who beat him down physically and later mentally."
Meanwhile, "Sexual Healing" was supposed to start shooting in Europe a month ago, but evidently production on that project has stalled. No actor has been named for 'Marvin,' but whoever it is, plans are for him to lipsynch, not actually sing the parts (it's unclear if Martin will actually sing in 'Healing,' but it's been noted by many that he has the pipes).
Maybe, you've heard. This is a little old, but we hadn't quite weighed in (and god knows you were dying for us to do so). "Star Wars" losers everywhere have had recent cause to celebrate (in their parent’s unfinished basements, naturally) their long-awaited victory over the evil empire, the Weinstein Co.
Like us, many of you have been too busy over the past few years living your life to care about a dorky, meta in-joke for "Star Wars" nerds, called "Fanboys." Set in 1998, the story follows a fanatical group of teenage "Star Wars" disciples, one of whom has the cancer, on a roadtrip across the country to George Lucas’ Skywalker ranch to steal a copy of the then-unreleased “Phantom Menace” so their dying friend can view it before he expires (now that we’ve all seen “Phantom Menace” doesn’t this make the film a total epic tragedy?). News of the concept travelled to girl-friendless fans who logged on to message boards to enthuse wildly about the idea.
But the film hit a snag mid-way. Original director Kyle Newman was removed from the production, and all hope seemed lost (Obi-Wan was nowhere to be found). Newman was shitcanned because the controlling Weinstein's wanted the movie to be cancer-free and replete with vulgar dick jokes instead (sounds original), for which they brought in scab director Steven Brill (the super genius behind "Little Nicky") to finish the production. They also tried to appease fans who were losing their shit by claiming two different cuts of the movie would appear on the DVD. Just another notch on the control freak belt of the Weinstein's (they make Howard Hughes look carefree), right?
But wait! Just like the ragtag scampy Rebellion, the "Star Wars" fans wouldn’t be so easily defeated. Upon hearing the news, they logged out of their pay-per-chat cybersex rooms with haste and banded together to
form a rebel alliance launch an internet campaign (complete with mocking video) that succeeded in bringing balance to the force restoring Newman to the project and the return of the cancer plot line (seriously guys, have you no lives). Perhaps the Weinstein’s noticed that no one was giving a flying fuck about this niche project aside from its niche audience (and "Family Guy" writers), and worried if they totally alienated this base, they’d be fucked? Very likely.
“Fanboys” has led a troubled life. The initial project wrapped two years ago, was delayed several times and yet still no set release date. The post-production has been plagued by scheduling conflicts and studio interference, and word has it that the Weinstein's are so uneasy about the market for the film that after all this brouhaha, the film still might receive a straight to DVD release. All that for nuthin', huh?
The movie stars Chris Marquette (the aspiring porn director in 2004’s “The Girl Next Door”), Jay Baruchel (“Knocked Up,” “Undeclared”) and Kristen Bell, obviously coming off a strong performance as the lead in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” The movie also boast Seth Rogen and Kevin Smith (naturally, rotund overlord of all things SW) and the trailer looks well, rather straight-to-DVD-ish. But congratulations nerds, now you can masturbate in peace and wait for the release, if it indeed doesn't surface for the first time on a shelf as a $4.99 rental.
- Spencer Martin
Was it the utter lack of expectations? Was it the fact that we hadn't spoiled anything for ourselves, having only seen one basic trailer? Or was it that Judd Apatow/ Robert Smiegel factor (they co-wrote the film with the star)? Something is very wrong here: we really enjoyed the new Adam Sandler film, the Mossad-turned-hairdresser comedy "You Don't Mess With Zohan" (ever since Eric Bana in "Munich," Hollywood heebs have seemingly been obsessed with asserting their manhood rather than their Allen/Roth-like neurosis).
To say Sandler's recent comedies haven't been up to snuff lately would be like saying this year's Democratic nomination election was a tad long winded – it's a massive understatement. The fact is we've barely even seen them any of his recent flicks. We'll practically watch anything once on the movie pay channels for free, but lord knows we haven't been able to stomach more than 5-10 minutes of any Sandler related comedy since, "Mr. Deeds," (probably because of John Turturro) and before that the last straight-out funny film he had was "Happy Gilmore."
The movie's he's provided in the interim have been impossibly unfunny, insipid inanities that made you wonder aloud if he actually was mentally retarded. The joke were not only juvenile, they were flat and uninspired. There's nothing wrong with stoopid, puerile potty humor (see Zohan) if it's executed well, but Sandler's shtick had become downright embarrassing and actually, just not even worth noting or griping about - they were practically invisible.
So the impossibly silly, but immensely enjoyable 'Zohan,' was a surprisingly, fun, caught-off-guard treat. Sandler stars (obviously) as the titular, uber-macho, virile fighting machine – the Rambo of Israel and an elite member of the Mossad secret service. But after years of senseless fighting, particularly against his arch Arabic nemesis "The Phantom" (Turturro), Zohan grows tired of the vicious cycle and fakes his death so he can escape to New York city. There, the fighter can finally turn lover and fulfill his lifelong dream: to style hair in the "silky smooth" manner of his inspiration Paul Mitchell (but not before engaging in some massively staged, wildly preposterous, but highly amusing action sequences with Turturro – OK, we take it back, we get where the alleged $90 million went, damn; the film spares no expense, CGI is effortlessly doled out for any old gag – some filmmakers would be so lucky)
Zohan fumbles around New York, makes some Israeli friends and after many failed attempts, finally lands in a low-rent hair salon owned by a beautiful Palestinian girl ("Entourage" belle Emmanuelle Chriqui) – yes, he has to stoop that low.
From there the libidinous hairdresser develops a huge mom-styled, older lady clientele for his notoriously salacious coif-cutting appointments (crude scatological raunch sprayed everywhere challenging all forms of good taste and the limits of the PG-13 rating, but are so damn wrong, they're admittedly pretty hilarious at times; the running hummus gag being rather entertaining). The salon – always at risk of being gentrified out of existence by the local, money-grubbing blowhard (gentile) developers – is saved by the cash cow that becomes Zohan's obtruding package, but an eventual showdown can't help but happen.
The politics, while subversive for an Adam Sandler film, aren't going to challenge your average viewer, but considering his constituency and the lowest common denominator hum most of his films operate at, dare we say some of his devotees might even be confused. The comedic brushstrokes also chart at a relatively muted level, Rob Scheider – one of the world's worst culprits of broad, stereotypical farce – actually reigns in it (relatively) for his turn as an Arab cabbie obsessed with ousting Zohan and grabbing some Palestinian glory. And while yes, the comedy isn't seditious, quips about the Hezbollah phone line, the predictable breakdown in peace talks and the historic, yet complex levels of vengeance and retribution (“I’m just saying, it’s not so cut and dried!” one assassin shouts as he plummets to his death) leave both sides on the hook (the many digs at the expense of anti-semetic actor Mel Gibson are super humorous too).
There's a boatload of cameos: Mariah Carey plays an air-headed, bimbo singer (herself), rocker Dave Matthews portrays a white-trash racist hired to mess with the "towelheads," Smeigel pops up as a local mensch, Charlotte Rae (aka Mrs. Garett from "The Facts Of Life") is one of the many elderly women that the lascivious Zohan sexes up, and Chris Rock makes a quick cameo as a dreadlocked cabbie (and let us tell you, Rock can't do a Jamaican accent for shit).
Sandler's 'Zohan' isn't genius, and its naive, one-dimensional utopian finale (we're all just people, people!) is certainly not going to bring peace to the Middle East anytime soon, but for imbecilic comedy, that's relatively mature, you could do a lot worse. And hey, at least it wasn't "Semi-Pro." [B+]
Do-gooder intentions go disastrously wrong when Hollywood gives a young Iraqi film student the chance of a lifetime. Operation Filmmaker tells the fascinating and riveting story of Muthana Mohmed's odyssey in the West, with uncanny parallels to America's recent misadventures abroad.Basically actor/director Liev Schreiber was about to shoot his soon-to-be rather boring adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer's celebrated novel, "Everything Is Illuminated," and before he did, he saw an MTV "True Life: I’m Living in Iraq" episode about Baghdad film student, Muthana Mohmed. The poor kids' school apparently gets bombed out and Schrieber wanting to be a good samaritan plucks him out of war-torn Iraq, flies him out to Romania where 'Illuminated' is shooting and gives him a P.A. job. Having a sense there's a story in their somwhere, he hires a documentarian to shoot Mohmed's experience.
But apparently the kid is the exact opposite of grateful. Writes the Times:
What Muthana apparently was not accustomed to were the rigors and exhausting banalities that come with working as a lowly assistant on an American movie production. Called on to provide carefully calibrated snacks for the producers and to make copies, Muthana recoiled, refused and then, in very short order, rebelled. Murmuring that these were not his jobs, he stalked off and away, inspiring alarm among his benefactors.Some are calling the film, a "searing indictment of colonialism in Iraq and the phony do-goodism of Hollywood," and we haven't seen it yet, but we really can't get past the idea of any kid, Iraqi or otherwise, given this opportunity, no matter how shitty or menial it might be and then biting the hands that feeds him. There's probably some lost in translation cultural difference that makes it harder for us to swallow. It's surely more complex than that and every review suggets that it is, but that smug look on his face above and the idea that he came from wealth, so P.A. tasks were beneath him? Maybe we're stirring up a pot we shouldn't be stirring cause we don't know all the ingredients involved here, but what can we say, the premise is irksome to say the least.
Now we're probably obligated to go see this, huh? The filmmaker Nina Davenport sounds rather manipulative and shady too. We don't particularily care for Schreiber or care that this is Amercicans helping Iraqis (oh, the irony!). What we care about it that it seems to be about people helping people and one jackass, immature kid kind of being the worst about it. Anyone who knows our personal politics, knows that we're not siding with America, we're siding with the principal of human courtesy, but whateves. Cue: hail of bullets, but this is what it seems like from the outside. We'll have to see it for our own eyes.
Are we talking out our ass? A little, but this whole piece is just about what this film seems to be about. Keep that in mind. Take it like a Jeffrey Wells op-ed (i.e., 'doesn't this seem weird/strange/unsettling to you?') [ed. apologist much?] The documentary opens this weekend in limited release. I suppose we'll have to see it now, but it does sounds fascinating and we've been thinking about it all week.
But otherwise, this looks great. Just another day in the life of Werner Herzog peering into the madness of the abyss and seeing what he finds.
As we wrote in our summer preview, about this doc, "Encounters At The End Of The World,"the documentarian and maverick nutcase's eternal quest for "ecstatic truth" takes him to Antarctica to capture the life at the National Science Foundation where a thousand-plus scientists and people have it harder than any of his previous subjects (which range from foolish Grizzly Bear fanatics to Gulf War oil-firefighters). Expect Herzog to make the prosaic and mundane to become absurdly profound. This is a guy that could read the phone book aloud and make it sound like prophetic end-times.
Have you ever seen, "Lessons of Darkness," the haunting, mostly silent documentary that Herzog made about the firefighters putting out the Iraqi oilfields from the first Gulf War? There's a moment where the firefighters re-lit a fire they've put out in the film and surely they're doing it for some sane reason. But Herzog in his beautiful Germanic absurdity assumes - like he pretty much assumes about every event on earth, including even going to a deli to buy a Snickers bar - that they been "consooomed by maaaadness."
"Two figures are approaching an oil well. One of them holds a lighted torch. What are they up to? Are they going to rekindle the blaze? Is life without fire become unbearable for them?... Others, seized by madness, follow suit. Now they are content. Now there is something to extinguish again," he intoned melodramatically.
It's probably the single-most funniest moment in documentaries we've ever seen and seriously worth sitting through the entire doc for. Anyhow, the Antarc doc below. We'll be there for it. It opens June 11 (and piss on the people that didn't invite us).
Judd Apatow stable boys /"Superbad," "Pineapple Express" writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have been tapped to write an episode of the Simpsons, or rather they reached out and asked if they could pen a script.
"We called The Simpsons and asked if we could write an episode. Evan actually met James L Brooks at a party and James said he really liked 'Superbad,' so we thought there’s our in. Maybe we could ask to write a Simpsons," Rogen told Collider.Presumably the episode wil mix friendship with ribald comedy and a heart of gold, but you won't see it anytime soon, it's not even written therefore, not even animated. Maybe you'll see it next season (does anyone watch that show anymore outside of *big-named announcements like this? *"big-named" being relative of course).
"We went in and pitched them like 5 ideas and surprisingly they hadn’t done some of them," Rogen said. "We all sort of settled on one [idea] during the meting and then we went out and wrote an outline and they gave us notes on it. Then we re-wrote the outline. "
Rogen also told Joblo (yeah, there's a movie site that takes itself seriously with that name) a bit about "The Green Hornet" script he and Goldberg are also writing and said the ideas they are generating could add a high price ticket to the project, but than again, he cautioned, who knows...
"We don't think about the money at all when we're writing a script, the only way we can do it is to just write exactly what it is we would want to see. This seems like it would be more in the $70-100 million dollar world. But again, we just write these things thinking like what movie do we want to go see? What would we throw down our money for?"
As they are wont to do with their comedy, the duo want to dig a little deeper (relative of course) and explore the relationship between a hero and his sidekick. "What is a hero without a sidekick? What is a sidekick without a hero? It's actually a dynamic that applies to many real life situations; a lot of working dynamics, a lot of bosses and their underlings and stuff like that."
You Don't Mess With The Herzog; German Director Dismisses Abel Ferrara Like Giant And Gnat; WWIII To Erupt?
Bronx-born director Abel Ferrara is not a guy to fuck with and certifiably crazy. But if there's one filmmaker comparable to his madness and then some it's the fearless, Teutonic nutcase Werner Herzog.
Herzog as you've heard is remaking Ferrara's 1994 depraved NC-17 classic, "Bad Lieutenant" with Nicolas Cage and when wind of the news go eventually got to the irascible New York director, he contemptuously wished explosive bodily harm on Herzog and all the people involved with the film.
Defamer got a chance to sit down with Herzog to talk about his upcoming documentary, "Encounters at the End of the World," and they couldn't resist asking the very-Germanic filmmaker what he thought about the remake and Ferrara's irritable comments.
First off, Herzog says the film is not a remake. its not a remake. "It's like, for example, you wouldn't call a new James Bond movie a remake of the previous one — the story is completely different. Nicolas Cage really wants to work with me, and just anticipating working with an actor of his caliber is just wonderful," he told the L.A. celebrity site.
When told Ferrara vowed to fight the film, the drama-happy, I-see-beauty-in-crazy-shit filmmaker was naturally quite excited. "Wonderful, yes! Let him fight! He thinks I'm doing a remake, he said gleefully. "I have no idea who Abel Ferrara is. But let him fight the windmills, like Don Quixote." Oooh, diss.
When told the original "Bad Lieutenant" director had wished all the participants in the project would "die in hell," Herzog dismissed the sweaty reprobate like a giant swatting away at an annoying gnat. "That's beautiful!," he exclaimed when told Ferrara hoped he slept with the fishes in Hades. "Let him rave and rant; it's good music in the background."
Adding, 'I have no idea who he is. Is he Italian? Is he French? Who is he?"
Damn, we bet Ferrara is reading this right now and fucking destroying his tiny and cramped Manhattan apartment. And man, this surely means war. This is not over Herzog! Germany: 1 New York: 0 (for now...).
There's been a lot of talk about a sequel to the geniusly sweet comedy, "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," in the last few months, it's a movie many of the principal cast and filmmakers would love to revisit including director Adam McKay, star Will Ferrell and producer Judd Apatow.
Will it ever happen though? Who knows, but Steve Carrell said he would love to play Brick Tamland the lamp loving idiot weather man of San Diego's beloved Channel 4 News.
If it happens what will it be about? No one's saying. “I’ve heard some inklings as to what Adam McKay has in mind for a sequel, and it’s really funny,” Carell told MTV. “But I couldn’t say anything more than that.”
Either way, Carrell loved not only carpet and random furniture, he loved every second of playing the polite, punctual, what some might call, "mentally retarded" weatherman.
“That is one of the most fun things I ever did. I laughed until I cried, every day on that movie.” But wait, in the sequel, wouldn't Tamland be married with eleven children and be one of the top advisers to the Bush administration? Whatever, this post is almost certainly just an excuse to write, "I love lamp," and post Tamland's greatest hits below
Watch: The Best of Brick Tamland
Ryan Gosling apparently had a good time working on last year's overlooked and under-valued indie drama"Lars And The Real Girl," as he's set to re-team with the film's director Craig Gillespie. The duo will be reuniting for the "Dallas Buyers Club" - a true story of Ron Woodroof, a heterosexual, redneck electrician who contracted HIV around 1980. After being told to go home and die, he tested illegal drugs on himself to prolong his life six years and help thousands of people with AIDS. Woodroof parlayed the schema into a lucrative smuggling business that made those drugs available to AIDS patients, before he died in 1992.
Once originally intended for Marc Forster ("Stranger Than Fiction") and Brad Pitt, the script was (re)written by Guillermo Arriaga, the longtime screenwriting collaborator of Alejandro González Iñárritu ("Babel") (before they had a falling out and stopped taking each other's phone calls), and this is his first script not being directed by the Mexican director (though as noted he rewrote someone else's first draft).
'Lars' was met with a lot of mixed reviews, an early, particularly critical one from New York Times critic Manohla Dargis calling the film saccharine and cloying, took the wind of its buzzing sales (the film was met with a standing ovation at the Toronto International Film Festival a few weeks before her review) and set the tone for many of the reviews that came afterwards. Even our review was foolishly apologetic after Dargis convincingly shamed us all into thinking the film was "canned, teary hokum," but in retrospect we still think the film was poignant and handled the almost-silly subject mature with a remarkably mature and respectful tone.
Another thing we loved about the film was composer David Torn's lonely/sweet music; a score that was never too precious or tear-wringing, but just the perfect pitch of inquisitive melancholy. We've been meaning to post songs from the 'Lars' score for ages, so here's our excuse (and of course, we only have one song onhand). Torn's elegiac and sunstroked-touch will be featured later this summer in "The Wackness" (with a dreamy score right out of a Sofia Coppola movie) and again, hopefully later this year in the remarkable heavy metal dinosaur documentary "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" (which sounds like moving and inspirational post-rock ala Sigur Rós or Mogwai with perhaps a more sentimental bent).
In related news, Gillespie is going to direct the pilot episode of "The United States of Tara," the Diablo Cody-written cable show produced by Steven Spielberg that just got picked up by Showtime (Toni Collette and John Corbett are starring).
Download: David Torn - "At The Mall" (from "Lars And The Real Girls")
Lily Allen Will Take Time Away From Binge Drinking And Blog Oversharing To Make Cameo In 'Lesbian Vampire Killers'
"I have been having a lot of lesbian dreams lately. I think I might be gay! Don't tell my boyfriend. I have guy dreams and girl dreams, but the girl dreams are much dirtier," Lily Allen told Vulture in summer of last year.
Well, your dreams are coming true, dear! Or at least sort of and or maybe. According to the always reputable British tabloid press, Allen has signed on for the film, "Lesbian Vampire Killers."
The film is being made as a vehicle for some British sitcom duo "Gavin & Stacey" (Matthew Horne, James Corden), and Allen's role apparently will only be cameo although "sources" say, the comics would like her to take a larger role, but that would probably depend on whether the pottymouth starlet can risk time away from her myspace page and blogging about how she threw up on her shoes (she's so cute). Just yesterday the adorable drunk apologized for being visibly intoxicated at a fashion show (awwww).
The Playlist refuses to acknowledge Lily Allen as a blonde (even though she just died her hair pink).
With an inevitable and impending one-year jail sentence on weapons charges coming next spring, trapmusik rapper T.I. is waisting no time lining projects and investing in his future before he goes to the pokey. He's already agreed to star in a MTV reality show about the community service leading up to his prison term and now he's just signed on to a three picture deal with Screen Gems, the first of which will be the crime drama "Deep Bone," (no, it's not a porno) alongside Matt Damon and "The Wire" star Idris Elba (aka the one and only Stringer Bell).
The second flick T.I. (aka Tip Harris) has lined up is "Boulevard," a drama still in development in which he'll play the lead and a third tbd project with no details yet. No shooting dates have been unveiled for "Deep Bone" yet, but Variety reports that filming be "scheduled around the legal complications," which means presumably before next spring when he's thrown in the slammer for 12 months.
'Bone' will center around a group of ex-bank robbers who are dragged into one last big score by a freshly paroled buddy. Sounds a little like an update on "Dead Presidents," which at the very least had an excellent soundtrack.
Should Charlie Kaufman Trim And Snip 'Synecdoche, New York'? One Critic Seems To Think So; Plus Other Jackasses On The Interweb
Does Charlie Kaufman's latest surrealist mind-bender need a few nips and tucks?
The flick was originally at a four hour cut and then scaled down to a two hour and five minute cut at Cannes that was both praised and criticized in almost equal measure (though it does seem the older, fussier crowd just doesn't "get" his work to be honest).
Jeffery Wells has noted that Hollywood Reporter scribe Gregg Goldstein thinks the film could be subject to some further tweaks, but Wells points out that the op-ed like piece features no quotes or reportage on his part and rather is just thinking-out-loud speculation (hey, it's like he's a blogger!).
Wells notes that the HR piece is titled, "Synecdoche could improve with edit." Wells response to that posit? "No shit!" Evidently he's not the biggest fan of the film either (honestly, we have yet to peg Wells taste and it's rather disconcerting; he's a bit all over the map).
Now before the Internet goes into shitstorm panic mode ("OMG, FRIST SPIKE JONZE, NOW CHARLIE KAUFMAN FORCED TO RECUT FILM!!! [JUMPS OFF CLIFF] I REGRET NOOOOOTHTTTTTINGGG!"), remember this is just one a-holes opinion and remember we've all got one so they don't mean that much (PS, to all the jackasses that speculated that, "OMG, it remains 'unclear' whether Spike Jonze will be part of the 'Wild Things' reshoots through June, WB may have replaced him!", yeah, you know who you are. You're fucking utterly retarded. There's been nothing to suggest otherwise).
We criticized 'Synecdoche' ourselves a little bit, but only cause we want people to actually see it and so we mildly suggested that the unpronounceable title maybe, might, kinda not be the best idea in the whole world and that the Cannes poster for the film was about as enticing as curdled milk. To the three jackasses that can't read, we weren't suggesting anything be changed to be more palatable for the ham n' eggers out there, but we're saying this: hey, if you keep going with the inscrutable route, don't be surprised if this thing opens up at the IFC theater to a small, niche group of people [ed. hey, nuthin' wrong with the IFC, we adorbs, but the Kaufman should be at a higher level by now thanks to his previous work - all we're sayin']
Hey, this is kinda like a rambling op-ed too! We're on the interweb!
Jackass No 2: Variety's Peter Bart
Speaking of jackasses on the Internet, Variety chief Peter "I Hate Blogs" Bart, has now decided if you can't beat them, you should join them (how convenient) and started his own blog. Bart of course has apparently been a longstanding advocate against blogs calling them unprofessional and whatnot though one blog calls his haterade for blogs "overblown and uneducated declarations," and hey, we're down with anyone who loves to set the record straight. So maybe he isn't a total blowhard.
Jackass No 3: Entertainment Weekly's Lisa Schwarbaum
But one person who certainly is and yet another jackass on the Internet is Entertainment Weekly critic Lisa Schwarzbaum. During the recent Cannes film fest a certain unnamed film critic had a bit of a tantrum before the screening of James Gray's "Two Lovers" that was overly-delayed. "I'm not going to wait an hour for fucking James Gray," a "major U.S. film critic" snapped before storming away from the screening. Defamer put the blame on New York Times scribe Manohla Dargis. Turns out it wasn't her.
So who just outed herself as the critic who had a meltdown cause the poor thing had to wait too long to see a free movie on the French Riviera? Schwarzbaum of course. The ostrich-like film critic took to the EW PopWatch blog to out herself in an unapologetic post called, "The Unbearable Lightness of Blogging."
Dear reader, the storming, cursing critic in this international incident was me. And since I'm giving PopWatch readers a spectacular scoop, let me tell you what happened next: I extricated myself from the angry mob at 9:30 p.m., took myself out to dinner, had a nice bowl of pasta and a glass of wine, and returned an hour later to a crowd, albeit smaller, still waiting for f-----g James Gray. I got into the screening easily. And the theater was at least a quarter empty.Note not the ounce of contrition, har har! Not surprising, we once saw the critic cluck up a storm at one of the early "Juno" screenings last December when the mere suggestion that she might not get in to to see the film ruffled the shit out of them fussy feathers. Yeah, we said it.