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October 16, 2007 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | October 16, 2007 |

Should we start with the good news or the bad news this week? Oh — OK. Let’s start with the good news then.

Shit. Sorry, I got nothing for you. Maybe this: The writer’s strike begins in two weeks, so there will be a lot less bad news to report.

Otherwise, onto the bad news: Where to start? Where to start? Ah, how about this: A movie called The Wrestler, an indie directed by Darren Aronofsky. What the hell happened to Aronofsky, folks? He makes a cool indie film, Pi, and follows that up with the killer drug-addiction flick, Requiem for a Dream (the perfect third date film!), and then has a misstep with The Fountain. So, what’s the smart thing to do when you’re looking to rebound after your film fails to meet either critical or box-office expectations? Well, it’s not hire Nicolas Cage to star in your movie as a washed-up wrestler, that’s for goddamn sure. Jesus. Why do both decent and bad directors alike respect this pissant enough to continue hiring him? I’m beginning to think that that Ghost Rider was inspired by Cage’s own life; other than a deal with the Satan (Ray Wise), there’s no reasonable explanation for this shittard’s continued existence in Hollywood pictures. And the real shame of it is that the movie seems tailor made for the resurgent Ben Affleck, who proved in Hollywoodland that he can actually act, particularly in these meta-washed up roles. The film itself revolves around a over-the-hill wrestler who is told, after a heart-attack, that he can’t fight anymore or he’ll die. So, he starts working at a deli, gets involved with a stripper (classic!), falls for the stripper’s son, and is eventually lured into a rematch with his old rival, Ayatollah (double classic!). Think Cinderella Man meets a cum stain.

And speaking of cool directors falling on bad times, a few weeks ago we offered up the trailer for Southland Tales Richard Kelly’s follow-up to Donnie Darko. To me anyway, it looked straight-to-DVD worthy, at best, in part because — if you want to be taken seriously as a filmmaker — you don’t cast a group of largely untalented B- and C-list stars and The Rock in your film. Nora Dunn doesn’t say quality, folks. Indeed, based on the early reviews from Cannes (all unanimous in their hatred), the movie is an unredeemable, incoherent mess. And now he’s decided to cast Cameron Diaz, of all people, to star in his next film, The Box, a horror movie based on the Richard Matheson short story, “Button, Button” (which is not to be confused with the Isaac Asimov short story of the same name). And of course, Diaz — who always looks like she has fishhooks pulling on each side of her mouth — is the female version of Nicolas Cage, i.e., a completely untalented waste of carbon who is consistently cast by big-name directors who don’t know any fucking better. (Sudden, horrific thought: Requiem’s ass-to-ass scene featuring Diaz and Cage. *Shudder-retch*.) In fact, I’m beginning to think that Richard Kelly may be the next Larry Clark, a shitty director who just lucked into a good debut effort. Anyway, the logline for the film is this: “Diaz will play a young woman given a mysterious box by a stranger. She’s told that certain things will happen depending on which buttons she presses.” Wow! A horror film inspired by Monty Hall. Genius.

Some of you may find this of interest: Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Salem’s Lott) will take another stab at Stephen King’s source material, as he is set to direct From a Buick 8, based upon a King’s novel. Of course, Hooper hasn’t made a decent film in 25 years, and if you discount Poltergeist, which Spielberg actually directed, Chainsaw Massacre is in fact the only good film under his belt. So, maybe that makes Larry Clark the Tobe Hooper of Hollywood directors? I wouldn’t put too much faith in the belief that he’ll manage to do King’s short story much justice, either; Richard Chizmar will write the adaptation, and his claim to fame is the script for Road House 2: Last Call.

Who saw Disturbia? It was actually a surprisingly decent suspense thriller, basically an update of Rear Window that worked, in large part, because that Shia LaBeouf is beguiling as all hell. It made a modest $80 million, and satisfied a lot of moviegoers in its own small little way. So, of course, a sequel is reportedly in the works. Here’s hoping it’s based on Birds, and all the filmmakers get their eyes gouged out for ruining small pleasures.

Elsewhere, grab hold of your teabags (both kinds) and prepare for this tidbit: The Thundercats movie has a director, Jerry O’Flaherty, formerly a video game art director — he did the art direction for Gears of War. The Thundercats movie is said to be an origins flick, a coming-of-age story about Lion-O. Of course, I have no goddamn idea who Lion-O is, so I’ll let those more knowledgeable of the franchise debate the merits of that decision on their Xbox 360 Bluetooth headsets (available at Amazon!). And speaking of Gears of War, the filmic adaption has a writer now, Stuart Beattie, who wrote Pirates of the Caribbean and Collateral. He says the film will be influenced by the look of 300, although there is some speculation that New Line might pull the plug on the project because of budgetary concerns. That it’s based on a video, and that video-game movies universally suck, apparently is not a concern.

On DVD this week, if you didn’t get to experience the glorious mess that was Transformers in theaters, well, if you buy the DVD, toss it up into the air, and then unload a massive arsenal of ammunition at it skeet style, you’ll have a pretty decent idea of what the experience was like. Additionally, Crazy Love, The Invisible, A Mighty Heart, and The Hoax hit shelves today.

Also, Season Three of “Veronica Mars” comes out today. And speaking of which, looking over the 330 plus comments you’ve all left on the heartbreaking TV moments diversion, it’s kind of impossible to pick a winner. Lots of really great moments, way too many to rehash (that whole thread is a fantastically nostalgic trip), but since I need to pick a winner, I’m going to go ahead and pick Valerie, who described a scene between Pam and Michael during Pam’s art show on “The Office,” in such a way that it kind of broke my heart. So, Valerie: Season Three of “VM” is yours. And here is the entire art-show subplot from that episode. It is sweet as hell.

Finally, here’s the teaser trailer for Jessica Alba’s J-Horror remake, called The Eye, which we all know is actually Japanese for “Alba Ass.”

Dark. Darker. Pajiba

The Daily Trade Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Industry | October 16, 2007 |

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

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