Watching Monica Seles glide awkwardly and Shannon Elizabeth grin like a prize racehorse on part of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, which I had to do for research relating to Adam Carolla, and his new film, The Hammer, I was struck by a thought: wouldn’t it be great if celebrities were drafted into reality shows like this by a draft lottery/jury duty system? I mean, we all know celebs would never get seated on a real jury, so this sort of forced conscription would be a way that they could… you know, give back to society. I haven’t fully thought it out, but this might be part of my campaign platform for president in 2012.
Earlier this week, I mentioned how I was less than stoked at the prospect of seeing Ben Affleck back on the big screen, especially when forced to go head-to-head with Russell Crowe. But this amusing idea, probably not too far off base before the success of Gone Baby Gone, I could get behind. “How ya like them apples?” indeed…
It’s a happy 32nd birthday to Amy Smart, who forever earns the gratitude of the laddie-mag set by helping to ease, if not fully erase, memories of rail-thin DJ Qualls getting squashed in flagrante delicto in 2000’s Road Trip, with her own moment of pleasant, hurrah! toplessness (below).
Smart is a B-level talent, I guess, and there’s no great sin in that, certainly. Still, she was really quite good opposite Ryan Reynolds in the underrated Just Friends, which is entirely enjoyable in a yawning sort of way, and obviously has a serviceable sense of comic timing and an ability to not take herself too seriously. She’s just never really been in anything that’s hit big, and given her a punch-through kind of platform, at least beyond the genre/fanboy crowd.
I don’t know if she’ll be back for the Crank sequel, but she should definitely consider it if they give her a nice enough bump in salary and character utility, since that movie was a success on its own terms. Other than that, Smart’s got an atrocious-sounding dance flick on her dance card, and I guess she’s the younger sister (?) of Kiefer Sutherland in High Tension writer-director Alexandre Aja’s next horror film, Mirrors. Still, my advice to Smart is roughly the same as it is to all young actresses who have looks and some ability to navigate funny terrain — maniacally seek out young writer-director talent, and get yourself attached to a nice romantic comedy with some pop, in dialogue, character and/or formula. Plow through 100 scripts if need be, but if you find the right one, that will make casting directors and execs rearrange their callback lists, and open up other sorts of plum studio assignments.
In advance of the 17th annual Philadelphia Film Festival in April, boutique distributor TLA Releasing has acquired the rights to Epitaph, a lush, Korean, supernatural, psychological horror flick, for its “Danger After Dark” label.
The directorial debut of the Jung brothers, Epitaph is scheduled to play New Directors New Films in New York, as well as the aforementioned Philadelphia Film Festival on April 9 and 10, with a domestic release in late 2008 through TLA. The film opens in 1942, with the Korean capital of Kyung Sung occupied by the Japanese. The Anseng Hospital, in the center of the city, represents the twin glories of Japanese Imperialism and western modernization, but mysterious things are happening there. An intern bound by his parents to marry a girl whom he never met instead finds himself romantically drawn to a corpse; a traumatized little girl, the lone survivor of a horrific car crash, is tortured by bloody visions; and a married couple, both doctors, desperately try to manage their colleagues’ behaviors, yet find themselves investigating a series of brutal murders. To watch the movie’s trailer via TLA Releasing’s YouTube Channel, click here; there are unfortunately no English subtitles, though. Still, better than this week’s Shutter, one has to imagine.
Demi Moore appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman last night, selling Flawless, her period-set diamond heist picture with Michael Caine, and proved two important things in the process: 1) that she still has the effortlessly engaging anecdotal talk show circuit skills of a pro, flat out, and 2) that there’s an undeniable, very real culture gap between Hollywood and the rest of the country. The latter became evident when Moore started talking about a recent jaunt to Austria for… leech therapy?! Yes, seriously.
She described the process in some detail (and, I’ll give her minor props, how it detoxifies the blood, at least as she understands it), saying they used her belly-button as the… ummm, point of entry? “After it gets super-drunk on your blood, it just rolls over, kind of like it’s stumbling out of a bar,” she explained. Lovely! She also mentioned rocking a turpentine bath or two. The audience was engaged, and laughing during Moore’s two segments, but also, you could tell, thinking, “Who the hell is this chick?” I don’t want to say that it’s shit like this that gives Hollywood a bad name, but… it’s shit like this that gives Hollywood a bad name.