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June 19, 2008 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | June 19, 2008 |

A live-action Smurfs movie? I don’t know where to begin. I mean: The fucking Smurfs?! One hundred and one blue shirtless men frolicking in the forest with one woman and singing, “La la lala la”? What could the plot possibly entail? Are we looking at How Smurfette Got Her Groove On 101 Times and Walked Around with a Hitch in Her Step or something more akin to an origins story, explaining that the blue skin color of the Smurfs derives from simple lack of sex and/or Evil Gargamel behind-the-bush intrusions of homosexual interplay? Generations of blue ball can do funny things to the flesh, you know? The film, like the recent travesty Alvin and the Chipmunks will be a live-action/CGI hybrid, which means that, presumably, real motherfucking actors will deign to appear (don’t return their calls Jason Lee). I hear that John Lithgow is rumored to be Gargamel, and it’d be a shame not to go after the Smurfish-looking Jessica Alba for Smurfette. Anyway, the writers behind the second and third Shrek films are penning the script, and the studio is eyeing a 2010 release.

By the by, does anyone know what a Smurf smells like? And while we’re on the subject, what the hell flavor is blue Kool-Aid supposed to be?

(Little known fact: Smurfs and Pajibas are distant cousins).

Moving on: Sam Raimi — while he’s mulling a fourth Spiderman film — has decided to add to his slate of future projects (a slate that currently includes resurrecting Jack Ryan). Raimi has signed on to direct The Given Day, the latest Dennis Lehane novel to make it to the big screen (in addition to Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone, Scorsese is currently filming Shutter Island). The Given Day, which actually hasn’t seen the bookshelves yet, is another cop thriller, only this one takes place in 1919, when police officers return to Boston after WWI and try to unionize. With a historic 1919 Boston Police Strike (in which most of the force was replaced by Governor Calvin Coolidge) as the backdrop, two cops emerge, probably out to find a missing child and engage in ethically ambiguous activities. I have to say, based on previous Lehane adaptations, and Raimi’s brilliance with quality material, that I got absolutely no quibbles with the project.

Another project I don’t have a problem with? Speculation that “H.R. Pufnstuff” — the late 60s/early 70s children’s television show — will get the cinematic treatment. Man alive: A living island, a talking flute, a magic boat, a wicked witch named Wilhelmina W. Witchiepoo, talking wind, and extremely bright colors! It is most certainly my belief that acid-trip television should be introduced to a new generation of little ones. Maybe Puff the Magic Dragon can get a major motion picture deal, too!

Elsewhere, in the “from odd minds comes brilliant ideas” department, Bobcat Goldthwait — last seen directing “Jimmy Kimmel Live” episodes — will get another crack at motion picture directing, following the woefully underappreciated 1991 film, Shakes the Clown (ah, non-wubba wubba wubba Julie Brown, how we miss you). His next movie, starring Robin Williams, is called The World’s Greatest Dad, and though the principals involved don’t exactly inspire confidence, the logline kind of does: After a failed writer’s son dies in a freak masturbation accident, the father pens a suicide note for his son to cover-up the accident. In order to continue the lie, the Dad resurrects his writing career by penning an entire journal on his dead son’s behalf. It’s like I always say: When life gives you a dead masturbating son, make Lemonade.

What else? Here’s this: Spike Lee is tackling Ronald Mallet’s memoir, A Scientist’s Personal Mission to Make Time Travel a Reality, a book about a real-life fella — one of the first African Americans to get a PhD in theoretical physics — who wants to make time travel a reality. In fact, the man — who lost his father to a sudden heart-attack when he was 10 — became obsessed with time travel as a means to returning to see his Pops. True story: He’s been working on plans to create a time machine for quite some time. It involves a bunch of physics, and I won’t claim to know a goddamn thing about it.

Len Wiseman — Kate Beckinsale’s husband and the director behind Underworld and the latest Die Hard sequel — has been tapped to direct the video-game adaptation of Gear of War, working from a script by Chris Morgan (The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift). Meanwhile, Luc Besson is bringing us a sequel to District B13, appropriately titled, District B14. No cast is in place, but if I may make a suggestion: Jason Statham.

In the trailer watch, how about I bring the pain today. Here’s Meet Dave, possibly the most moronic looking film you’ll ever witness:

And then there’s Sam Jackson’s latest in scene-gnawing heroics, Lakeview Terrace, which looks awfully similar in spirit to Michael Keaton’s dud, Pacific Heights. Neil LaBute directs, and he’s on one helluva bad losing streak:

I Just Pajiba'd Myself

The Daily Trade Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Industry | June 19, 2008 |

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

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