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March 27, 2007 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | March 27, 2007 |

Question for you: Did you hate Titanic? Well, of course you did. You wouldn’t be a regular reader of Pajiba if you didn’t, now would you? And how long did it take you to finally get over Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet’s participation in that film? It wasn’t until DiCaprio did The Departed before I fully forgave him, though Winslet redeemed herself fairly quickly by following Titanic up with some fairly adventurous roles. Well, the two are re-teaming again, as if to reopen old, pus-filled, gangrenous psychic wounds that lingered long after Jack Dawson sank to his hallelujah-it’s-finally-fucking-over miserable death. Winslet and DiCaprio will star as suburbanite husband and wife in Revolutionary Road, adapted from the celebrated 1961 Richard Yates novel. The film will be directed by Winslet’s husband, Sam Mendes. I have to admit, too, that both the material and the talent offer some flicker of hope that Revolutionary Road will warm the cockles of my “cold, it’s so cold,” heart, just as long as Billy Zane isn’t brought aboard to crazy-up the film. The narrative will focus on the day-to-day misery of the 1950s’ suburban couple, who are trapped in their suffocatingly perfect lives, as their downward spiral leads them to drink and fornicate with strangers. It is also familiar territory for Mendes, whose directing break-through came with American Beauty and, honestly, here’s hoping Peter Gallagher makes a cameo reprisal of Buddy Kane and Winslet gets to scream, “Fuck me, your majesty,” while splayed out against a headboard.

(Gratuitous, insincere exclamation point warning ahead)

Oooh, oooh! Have you ever imagined a film that would do you the cinematic version of a solid by putting four of your least favorite actors and actresses all in one movie! Doesn’t it sound glorious!!! Well, that’s what director Patrick Sisam is doing, by putting Sharon Stone, Tom Arnold, Lucy Liu, and (wait for it … ) Jimmy Fallon in one all-star shittastic production! He’s calling it Rocket, but I’m just going to go ahead and give it the working title, The Film that Finally Drove Me to Pull My Eyeballs Out of their Sockets; and right now, I’m going start ramming my head against my monitor to prepare me for the experience of watching it!!! Oh, I can’t wait! The movie itself is about an guy (Fallon) that has problems committing to his girlfriend (Liu) because of his troubled relationship with his unhappily married parents (Stone and Arnold). How unbelievably original is that spec?! You know, I’ve never seen a film about a guy who couldn’t commit! And I’ve never heard a Bon Jovi song that repurposed an uninspired platitude, repeated it 47 times, and set it to music. What will these crazy people think up next? Somebody, please pass the handgun! I’m going to pop a cap in the back of my throat!!!

(Exclamations End)

There is some pretty decent news to report today. Zack Snyder — who most of you know as the guy who made that movie (300) that made you feel incredibly inadequate about your upper-body physique — is setting up another film aside from The Watchmen, and this one is a return to the zombie subgenre that got Snyder noticed in the first place when he directed the Dawn of the Dead remake. He’s now producing Army of the Dead, based on his own story idea, about a father who tries to save his daughter in the zombie-infested world of Las Vegas — and honestly, can you do better than a Zombies-in-Vegas pic? It’s actually pretty inspired, and somewhat hard to imagine it hasn’t been done yet, given the nature of Sin City: Creepy old people with sallow skin mechanically chain-smoking while methodically sticking in quarter after quarter and pulling levers in a zombie-like fashion, as their souls are slowly sucked into the dry Vegas atmosphere. Then you have crazy-Hawaiian shirt zombie standing around the craps table grinning like an idiot and yelling, “Double fours, shooter. Double fours,” and when a seven pops up, Cheshire-smile zombie eats the brains of the roller. There is a lot of satiric material here to work with, if only Snyder and his screenwriter (Joby Harold) have the guts to mine it. And if Snyder can combine the stylish violence of 300 with an honest-to-goodness script, Army of the Dead may actually rock a little.

And, on DVD this week, check out Children of Men, one of last year’s better offerings (overlooked by that damned Academy), as well as the Oscar winner for Best Animated picture, Happy Feet. In addition, Will Smith’s tour de force in sappyness, The Pursuit Happyness makes itself available for Netflix queues, in addition to the releases of National Lampoon’s: The Rise of Taj, Turistas, and Curse of the Golden Flower.

And in showing my embarrassingly-ugly, drunken-frat-boy side news: We haven’t been able to get out and review this documentary yet, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not super-freakin’ stoked about seeing Air Guitar Nation. After all, air guitar is the greatest performance art of all time; take it from a guy who has collected a lot of bar-floor debris from doing impromptu air-guitar solos anytime “Guns N’ Roses” and a few Salty Dogs are combined. I am the Steve Vai of air guitar, bitches. Seriously: This looks like Spellbound for cool people, as long as you define a “cool person,” as someone with absolute no sense of shame or fear of embarrassment, and an unhealthy love of 80s-era guitar solos. Now, go on: Rock out with your bad selves. And Alexandra Lipsitz, if you know what’s good for your film, send this critic a screener.

Put a Little Pajiba in Your Soul

The Daily Trade Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Industry | March 27, 2007 |

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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