August 6, 2006 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | August 6, 2006 |


Item #1: You know, I was all set to write this little round-up blurb and be either (a) neutral about the subject or (b) genuinely positive. Sure, I’d be lying by throwing my support behind this particular filmmaker, but what’s a little dishonesty when it comes to Hollywood news? Hell, it’s pretty much SOP out here in SoCal. But I just can’t do it. Maybe it’s because I love you all so much, or because I’m always willing to state my opinion and put my name next to it. So here goes: Because no week in the round-up would really be complete without another update from Generation Y’s favorite FX-driven hack, Peter Jackson announced this week that he’ll be producing Dambusters, to be distributed by Universal. The WWII-set drama will be directed by Christian Rivers, Jackson’s animation director on King Kong. Sure, there are other plot details I could bore you with, but it all boils down to New Zealand’s favorite son — and the crown prince of musty dorms — is just churning out another movie mining America’s Feel-Good War for box-office returns. Of course, if the movie has fighting T-rexes, I might change my tune. — Daniel Carlson

Item #2: True story: Back in the ninth grade, my then-girlfriend and I decided — for shits and giggles — to tell everyone we’d broken up, just to see what the response would be. Actually, it wasn’t so good. Instead of the expected, “Oh, man, that sucks — she was a great girl,” all of my junior high pals decided that then was a good time to tell me exactly how they felt about her, in colorful, profanity-laced language. In fact, upon hearing the news, Phillip’s older brother called my then-girlfriend and let loose a barrage of insults that left her weeping for much of the night — and the shits and giggles never actually materialized. Well, as it turns out, some enterprising French folks stole my junior high premise and made it into a film called, Un Petit Jeu sans Consequence and, based on its success, Hollywood has decided to adapt it for an American audience and give us the reunion we never asked for, pairing Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz for the first time since 1994’s The Mask. The film, as suggested by my own experience, is about a couple who decide to trick their friends into believing they’ve broken up, only to discover that most of their friends never thought they should’ve been together in the first place. A Little Game Without Consequence will be directed by Gabrielle Muccino, who wrote the Italian film that next week’s Last Kiss is based upon. However, since Carrey hasn’t actually been funny since Me, Myself & Irene and Diaz has never been anything but a blight upon the big screen, don’t expect the shits and giggles to materialize here, either. — Dustin Rowles

Item #3: Well, here’s a neat coincidence. The very day after I wrote the Zero Effect entry into our Best Movies You’ve Never Seen feature, I also discover that Jake Kasdan managed to sell his film The TV Set to ThinkFilm, one of the last decent independent studios around. The TV Set is basically about Kasdan’s experiences in TV, and will chronicle a television writer (David Duchovny) whose dream project is dismantled and corporatized by a team of industry executives, led by the president (Sigourney Weaver), who had a big hit with a show called “Slut Wars.” The movie is presumably based on Kasdan’s dealings with the failed pilot of Zero Effect and his experience directing many episodes of The Best Short-Lived Show of All Time: “Freaks and Geeks.” And if that wasn’t enough to whet your appetite, two other members of the cast include the strangely sexy Judy Greer and Justine Bateman (!), who, according to IMDB, once dated Leif Garrett. — DR

Item #4: I love my father very much, but I only recently stopped resenting how much Rodgers & Hammerstein the man subjected me to as a youth. It took till at least college to realize that musicals were more than just a valid form of filmmaking but could, at times, be downright entertaining. Sure, sometimes there’s a hoedown, but you gotta look past those. And because the American Film Institute would just cease to function if they let three weeks go by without issuing another list, the AFI has announced that, believe it or not, Singin’ in the Rain tops their list of the 25 Greatest Movie Musicals. As if lauding a Gene Kelly film wasn’t obvious enough, the rest of the list appears to be not so much the 25 best American musicals as it is the only 25 musicals anyone can name. Thanks again, AFI; I’m sure eighth-grade girls nationwide applaud the bravery of bestowing such honor on Grease. — DC

Item #5: We’re finally on the precipice of the true beginning of the fall season (prematurely ejaculated Fox shows aside), but the season won’t truly be in full swing until October 6, when “Battlestar Galactica” returns to my beloved television. If you, like me, are having a hard time biding the time, then these Internet tubes have come through once again. Starting this past Tuesday, and following every Tuesday and Thursday until the big premiere, SciFi will be releasing new webisodes of a little miniseries, “Battlestar Galactica: The Resistance.” “BGtR” is intended to fill in some of the space between the end of the second season and the start of the upcoming season (which will jump ahead in time, though not quite as far as the season finale did). So get off your frakking ass and get some of what’s good for you. — Seth Freilich

Item #6: In the weekly box-office round-up, there’s absolutely nothing of note to discuss. Invincible ($12 million) held on to the top spot, which is almost criminal given the entertainment value of the No. 2 film, Jason Statham’s ode to senselessly fun gratuity, Crank ($10 million). And Wicker Man’s meager opening of $9 million ensures that the mean-spirited joy of the comments section will continue long after Wicker Man has left theaters (seriously, I never knew that “sandy vaginas” could be used in so many contexts). Still, hanging around at spots four and five were Little Miss Sunshine and The Illusionist, suggesting that fans of decent films don’t attend in droves but in pairs. Finally, it looks like Dan was the only person in America to see Idiocracy, and maybe that was for the best, judging by his review.

This weekend offers only three wide releases. First up, Ben Affleck begins his career resurrection (fingers crossed) with Hollywoodland, which I’m more excited about than the end-product probably warrants. Also in theaters will be The Covenant, which looks a bit like a really bad episode of “Smallville,” and is directed by Renny Harlin, so you might be better off staying at home and playing with bear traps. Finally, for fans of Thai kick-assery, The Protector should be coming to a theater near you. Otherwise, a large number of us are simply going to stay at home this weekend and enjoy Peyton take on (and crush) Eli in the Manning Bowl. It’s football season, bitches: Take out your beer bellies and give them a good polishin’, ‘cause you’re gonna need a place to rest your Coors Light this Sunday. — DR

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The Weekly Trade Round-Up / The Pajiba Staff

Trade News | August 6, 2006 | Comments ()



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