Let us take a moment today to pause and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the astoundingly entertaining Road House, which hit theaters on this very day in 1989, less than a week prior to the third installment of the Indiana Jones series.
Following their verbal dust-up at a recent dinner where George Clooney took exception to some remarks about President Obama by Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn, the latter called Clooney a “money-coddled” actor “living in a bubble” in an interview. Clooney, though, pretty much dropped n-u-t-s in counter-reply, saying among other things in his written response, “I did not attend a private boys’ school, I worked in tobacco fields and in stock rooms and construction sites. I’ve been broke more of my life than I have been successful, and I understand the meaning of being an employee and how difficult it is to make ends meet. Steve is one of the richest men in the world and he should be congratulated for it, but he needs to take off his red, sparkly dinner jacket and roll up his sleeves every once in a while and understand what most of the country is actually dealing with… or at least start with the fact that you can’t make up stories when eight people who are not on your payroll are sitting around you as witnesses.”
As the Julien Film Festival winds down, I’ve stolen away for a quick lunch in ultra-rural Council Hill, Illinois, and among other oddities and delights I wound up talking to a guy who’d seen (via streamed Netflix) last year’s German-Austrian arthouse film The Wall, which isn’t something you necessarily expect in a township with under 200 people.
Props to Eva Mendes, who kinda killed on The Daily Show tonight, all while not talking very much about her new movie, Derek Cianfrance‘s The Place Beyond the Pines. She asked host Jon Stewart about how/why he got cut out of The First Wives Club, which in turn led to Mendes then recounting a rather hilarious story about finding out at a premiere that her voice had been over-dubbed… because she didn’t “sound intelligent enough,” she said a producer told her. The bigger indignity, she said? It was a Steven Seagal movie. (That would be 2001’s Exit Wounds, to save you a cross-search.) Again, the whole episode is here, if you need it, or I’m sure they’ll have guest-specific splits up soon.
It’s a happy 46th birthday to David Herman, of Office Space fame. Every time I think of/view this wonderful scene, it fills me with an almost indescribable joy. From “PC load letter — what the fuck does that mean?!” to the unhinged mania with which he attacks that printer… man, just beautiful, beautiful stuff. Comedy of our times, truly.
I’ve returned to Los Angeles to find, among other things, this bullet in the mail awaiting me. It’s a novelty USB drive, but neither its Quicktime file nor the touted website on the back of the accompanying card (“Blood demands blood,” reads its wooden keepsake box) works/loads — via Firefox, Internet Explorer, nada. After a bit of noodling around, it seems it might be the trailer for Dead Man Down (FilmDistrict, March 8), starring Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace. This would make some sense, given that the otherwise unmarked package did have FilmDistrict’s name on it in small letters. So it seems I’m a marked man. Marked for exactly what I’m not sure, however.
UPDATE, 1/2/2013: My instincts were spot-on. A placeholder page now exists for the website, and Dead Man Down‘s trailer is available here, with Kendra Morris’ enchanting cover version of Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” providing the mood underneath lots of gunfire and Terrence Howard‘s threats.
Props to Alison Pill for owning up in self-effacing fashion to the topless photo of herself she accidentally tweeted out a day or two ago. Not easy to do, no doubt, but the right way to play it, for sure. No contortionist obfuscation — just shrug, call a mulligan, move on.
A recent, edited Q&A with filmmaker, musician, painter and furniture maker David Lynch, from the Wall Street Journal, hits a good number of familiar beats, but also contains some hilarious memories of his time as an Eraserhead-era paperboy, as well as information about his favorite designer and perhaps, the death knell for his signature brand of coffee.
So Murphy’s Law has a way of reaching over and slapping you down, as I (re-)learned last night, after mentioning on Twitter that I was (finally) headed to a screening of The Avengers. An incident at the ArcLight Hollywood prevented that, however. The 3-D presentation was screwed up. After the movie started, several dozen people started streaming down the aisles, searching for replacements for their 3-D glasses. My friend was among them; I waited two or three minutes, but the blurriness around the edges became too much. I retrieved another pair, which was worse, actually — a massive green tint (Hulk Vision?), and a significant blacking out of image in left lens. After more than 10 minutes of this, coming and going and trying another seven pairs or so, I quit and gave up. Some folks just lumped it and stuck in out, I guess, but this was a widespread issue, and quite disorienting. Was this part of some elaborate episode of Punk’d, like where Ryan Reynolds gets revenge on critics for their dismissal of his superhero turn in The Green Lantern?
UPDATE, 5/3: Over at Movieline, Jen Yamato has a piece re-capping the experience, and the culpability of the XpanD active-shutter 3-D glasses. Click here for the read.
The topic of this forthcoming memoir, Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them, actually came up when I interviewed Frank Langella a few years back (he was working on it even then), and despite the obvious relish with which he spoke of delving back into his early years, and various relationships, I confess I’m a bit struck by some of the specific bits (affairs with the much older Rita Hayworth and Elizabeth Taylor, plus saucy, suggestive phone conversations with Bette Davis) and news regarding its imminent arrival.
Not unlike William Hurt, Langella is an intellectual heavyweight who can cut an intimidating figure if he so chooses, quoting Shakespeare and other works to test the depth of your reading list, and comfortable arguing a question to test your mettle. In the twilight of his years, he’s obviously been put in a somewhat
reflective position, starting with the in some respects sublime Starting Out in the Evening, as well as Frost/Nixon, which he played on both stage and screen. Langella only dishes dirt on those who have passed, but a lot of folks were in his estimation “a bore,” it seems, which I think again reflects his interests and basic personality. (He has to be a cat person, I’m guessing.) I also don’t imagine there’s a chapter on Cutthroat Island… though I’m sure that would be kind of awesome too, actually, if there was.
The “Les Jeunes de Paris” segment on Saturday Night Live last night, offering a tip of the cap to The Artist by way of Jean Dujardin’s guest spot with host Zooey Deschanel, was a fantastic little slice of referential show business self-love. Great Nicolas Cage cameo, too, in the show’s “Get In the Cage” segment with Andy Samberg. It’s that self-awareness and embrace of the outlandish that prevents so much of the stink of some of his film choices from sticking to him.
German-born director Uwe Boll is a throwback of sorts to the pioneers of traveling, self-distributed filmmaking — part storyteller, (perhaps much larger) part huckster. Whatever one thinks of him, he is certainly prolific, cranking out around three movies a year over the last half-decade. I recently had a chance to speak with the inimitable Boll about his new-to-DVD film In the Name of the King 2, U.S. presidential politics, his passion project Bailout, which 2011 box office hit he can’t believe made so much money, and how his wife doesn’t like his movies. The conversation is excerpted over at ShockYa, so click here for the full fun read.
Because the phrase “hillbilly cannibals” really whets one’s appetite, Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings is offering up a “cannibal cookbook” via its Facebook page, just in time for Halloween. You know, in case peeled grapes in a paper bag long ago lost their thrill for you.
As the release of Final Destination 5 looms on the horizon, it seems worth noting that Warner Bros. must be feeling fairly bullish about what they have, and not merely because of the franchise-rejuvenating $186 million gross of its 2009 predecessor (almost two-thirds of which came from overseas). No, in addition to carpet-bombing specialty programming (they’re pretty much temporarily renting MTV and Comedy Central these days), the studio is peppering writers with an assortment of small but catchy swag — spread out over the last couple weeks, and including an eye chart, a luggage tag, a branded mini-wrench, some incense with an accompanying holder, and a faux-winner’s medallion emblazoned with the admonishing dictum, “Death doesn’t like to be cheated.”
Actually, that phrase — the movie’s tagline — also appears on little, different-sized cards with a medical examiner’s logo on the back in each package, which are great to leave as threatening notes to movie-ignorant enemies outside of the film’s target demographic reach. Errr… I mean, theoretically. Yeah, that’s the ticket. I caught a junket screening of the movie this past weekend, and will look to post a proper review closer to release, but it’s safe to say that Final Destination 5 is the antidote to Glee 3-D: The Concert Movie, and should be received warmly enough to ensure the continuation of the franchise.
Hmmmm… Bryce Dallas Howard just asked if she could use the bathroom in the room I’m occupying. Sure thing. After all, I do not curate or monitor the Four Seasons Hotel’s restrooms, m’am…
Director Lars Von Trier may have recently created a stir by awkwardly joking about sympathies for Adolf Hitler and Nazis, at a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival, but Uwe Boll can create a stir all by himself, really — no Nazis needed. Whether he’s lambasting critics or suing collaborators, whenever the prolific, one-of-a-kind German filmmaker opens his mouth, he’s pretty much guaranteed to stoke some controversy or deliver some hyperbolic nugget. He’s an interview jukebox of golden soundbites. Still, his latest movie happens to feature Nazis, wouldn’t you know, and even a character he fought actor Clint Howard to have actively portrayed as Josef Mengele.
Of course, that’s not the most buzz-worthy thing about the new-to-DVD Bloodrayne: The Third Reich, in which Natassia Malthe returns as a half-human, half-vampire warrior who lays waste to a growing army of undead Nazi soldiers. No, that might be Malthe’s nude Sapphic coupling. Or it might be Boll’s contention that one of the financiers of the movie ripped off the production, in its dwindling days, of a safe with 46,000 Euros. It depends on your perspective, I guess. Either way, I had the chance to catch up with Boll recently one-on-one (well, one-on-two, kind of), and the conversation, in his untouched, inimitable style, is excerpted over at ShockYa, with Malthe also occasionally butting in. Again, it’s here, if ya need it.