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July 27, 2006 | Comments ()


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The Weekly Trade Round-Up / The Pajiba Staff

Trade News | July 27, 2006 | Comments ()


Item #1:Scathing Reviews for Bitchy People.” That pretty much says it all, or most of it anyway, because while we here at Pajiba feel a sense of joy in discovering a great film and a pride in sharing it with you loyal readers, we also enjoy tearing horrible films to shreds. It’s a small but valid consolation that the bouts of cinematic hell to which we subject ourselves will occasionally give us another chance to take the gloves off and eviscerate the pure offal that is Zoom, Alone in the Dark, or BloodRayne. I mention those last two specifically because they were directed by Uwe Boll, the Teutonic answer to Renny Harlin, whose sole purpose in life seems to be to make films based on video games that make me want to kill myself (the movies, not the games). A few months ago, His Hackness got fed up with all the mean ol’ critics here on the interwebs ragging on his movies, so he challenged all comers to a boxing match. I kid you not. Last weekend, Boll faced off in the ring against SomethingAwful.com’s Richard Kyanka, Jeff Sneider of Ain’t It Cool News, Rue Morgue Radio announcer Chris Alexander, and random online critic guy Nelson Chance Minter (who’s all of 17). Long story short: Boll handed them their asses. None of the matches lasted past round two, with two of the TKOs coming in round one. Turns out Boll was a boxer in his youth, and I’m guessing the critics figured they could taunt him with their rhetoric instead of actually taking a month or so to bone up on the sweet science. Enjoy your victory, Boll. You may have beaten those men, and you could probably beat me up, too, but I don’t care. Your movies still suck. Nothing’s gonna change that. — Daniel Carlson

Item #2: I don’t know if it was just the backwoods Arkansan education or if all schools did this but, back in junior high, my school took all the 9th graders to the local prison to show them what living in jail might be like, in an attempt — I guess — to dissuade us from murdering our teachers. New Line Cinema has upped the ante on this concept with Scared Straight, a prison “thriller” that follows a governor’s son, who is jailed as a part of a (really fucked-up) program that imprisons delinquents for a short time in an effort to deter crime. Unfortunately for the governor’s son, a riot breaks out, and he is taken hostage but, being the good little delinquent he is, he teams up with some other delinquents to quell the riot. But my favorite bit of this comes from the project’s director, Rob Cohen: “It’s going to be a genre movie with depth, and the depth will come from the character.” Hahahahahahahahahahaha. Rob Cohen — the director of such classic “genre” films as Stealth, The Fast and the Furious, The Skulls, and the upcoming Big Bosoms and Square Jaws is purportedly making a movie with “depth”? And that “depth will come from the character”? Hahahahahahaha. Apparently, Rob Cohen has never seen any of his own films. — Dustin Rowles

Item #3: When word first crossed my desk that Jim Caviezel would be starring in Outlander for the Weinstein Co., I thought, “Cool. Random, but it could work. It’s about time Hollywood started plundering the semi-classics of Sean Connery’s oeuvre. And Caviezel’s done war movies, so I know he can handle a rifle. Sure, he comes across as a little passive, but a trippy genre flick about spice mines orbiting Jupiter is just the ticket to —” It was at this point that I realized I’d been thinking of Outland, a sci-fi movie that, sadly, has nothing to do with the upcoming Outlander, in which Caviezel will play a traveler from another galaxy who crashes on Earth during Viking times, accidentally bringing an alien with him that he sets out to kill with the help of the Vikings. Actually, now that I type that out, it sounds phenomenally stupid. They totally should have gone with the Connery remake. — DC

Item #4: While a lot of folks like to hurl their mockery at the flavor of the week — I think it’s Zach Braff and Katie Holmes right now — forgotten amongst the twentysomething coke addicts, Scientologists, and bulimics are the actors who actually have no talent; the fine men and women who, by rights, should be relegated to midnight cable-access shows; and those who appear in films where penis-shaped noses shoot ejaculate into soup for a laugh. I, of course, speak primarily of Rob Schneider, who actually deserves all the mockery we can heap upon him, in no small part because he may be the most ungifted actor of his generation and because — instead of owning that title and wearing it proudly with a touch of self-deprecation —he prefers to personally attack movie critics who have the audacity to offer up bad reviews of his bad films. He must be applauded, however, for being the first actor to come out after the Mel Gibson anti-Semitic dust-up and announce that he would never work with Gibson because, you know, Schneider is in such demand for big-budget films that don’t feature hermaphroditic prostitutes. Where was I? Ah, yes: Schneider is set to star in Juliana and the Medicine Fish, a children’s fantasy in which he will play a father trying to save his relationship with his 12-year-old daughter, who also finds some ancient secret under water. It’s so good to hear that Schneider will enter the children’s film genre. This way, when some sweet 11-year-old girl hates his film and writes about it on her blog (iloveunicorns.com), Schneider will track her down, body slam the poor kid, and then kick her until the little girl’s mom arrives and shouts, “Rob, are you kicking your daughter again?” — DR

Item #5: Writer-producer-Pfeiffer-scrumper David E. Kelley is dipping his television bucket into the legal well yet again. With “Boston Legal” going strong in its third season, Kelley is turning back to comedy, which he was arguably successful with in the “Ally McBeal” days (it’s not arguable that the show was successful, at least for a time; rather, it’s arguable that it was a comedy). The as-yet-untitled show is envisioned as a single-camera laugher focused on a sequestered jury spending its time in a motel. Fox has given the show a pilot commitment, and since Fox puts anything on the air, even if the pilot blows we can expect to see at least an episode or two of the show next fall. In other news, which just might be related, an anonymous casting call has gone out for “six quirky men of any shape and variety, and six women as thin as thin can be.” I’m just saying, between Calista Flockheart and Lara Flynn Boyle, he clearly likes the stick figures. — Seth Freilich

Item #6: The number-one film at the box office last week — as most of you no doubt already know — was Jackass: Number Two, which grossed a semi-massive $29 million. Judging from the divisive comments our review received, I think I’ll just leave well enough alone and move on. At number two, Fearless amassed a solid $10.5 million, suggesting that there are a lot of folks who actually do like martial-arts films. Gridiron Gang fell to third place in its second week, Flyboys opened with a poor $6 million, and perhaps most surprising, the lackluster All the King’s Men bowed with an unimpressive $3.6 million.

This weekend is not looking particularly fantastic, either. The Science of Sleep will expand its run, and I suspect our review will be along any day now. School for Scoundrels will be opening on 3,000 screens, offering plenty of opportunities for Americans to watch Jon Heder do what is by now obviously the only thing he can do: Play Napoleon Dynamite, over and over and over again until that last bumpkin in the Ozarks finally gets tired of it. Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Costner will be teaming up for The Guardian; if you’ve seen the trailers, you probably noticed a helicopter crashing into the ocean and killing its entire crew — that was a “Punk’d” segment that went awry, so Ashton smartly decided to put it into the film. If the theaters in L.A. cooperate, we’ll also review Robert Downey’s new film, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, as well as Jesus Camp, a documentary about 6-year-old children who are recruited into “God’s Army.” Not a joke. — DR



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