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April 22, 2008 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | April 22, 2008 |

This may surprise many of you, but in my real life away from mocking celebrities, lawyers, and films, I’m not always exactly Mr. Sunshine and Light around the Pajiba domicile. Sarcasm, bitterness, and mockery have a tendency, at times, to work themselves into my daily life, sometimes in ways that Mrs. Pajiba-hyphenate does not always appreciate — Lil Pajiba rehab jokes, for instance, never go over well, nor am I encouraged to write snarky headlines for baby pictures. The grandparents are not amused.

So, in furtherance of creating a more cheerful environment at home, I’m going to approach today’s round-up in an upbeat, optimistic way by accentuating the positive over the negative, cause that’s how I roll.

And we’re going to start with this exciting news: After the success of I Am Legend, which was originally based on a Richard Matheson novel, the entrepreneurial spirits in Hollywood have decided to take another go at a Matheson sci-fi classic, The Incredible Shrinking Man. The original movie was about a man, after being exposed to radiation and insecticide, begins to shrink — he has to figure out how to reverse the effects before he shrinks so small he perishes. Along the way, he has to contend with dangers of being tiny, such as pouncing cats and hungry spiders. It was, in fact, a fairly bizarre and frightening film. However, “frightening” is not a word you’ll hear about the 2008 remake because, in an effort to bring laughs and good cheer to the world around, the remake will be a comedy! A comedy written by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garrant, “The State” and “Reno 911!” veterans who wrote the hilarious movies, Herbie: Fully Loaded, Balls of Fury, Let’s Go to Prison and of course (who could forget!), The Pacifier. But there’s even better news: Brett Ratner, who did such a wonderful job with the Rush Hour series, as well as the third X-Men movie, will direct this future masterpiece. And, for the cherry on top of this cinematic sundae, Eddie Murphy will be starring in the title role! You can expect the estimable Mr. Murphy to bring the same comedic stylings he brought to Norbit, Daddy Day Care and The Nutty Professor movies to this great, sci-fi classic! The movie is on track for a 2010 release date; I’m counting the days, and I know you are, too!

Next up: In Tyler Perry’s latest film, Meet the Browns, the touching love story about a poor black woman who finds love in unexpected places, there’s a small throw-away scene involving Tyler Perry’s signature character, Madea, in a car chase with police, which ends with her arrest. I had no idea what it was doing in the film because it had nothing to do with what was going on. But, that’s because I apparently couldn’t see the genius of Tyler Perry beneath all the hilarious racial stereotypes and the life-affirming misogyny. Perry, it turns out, was just setting up his next feature, Madea Goes To Jail, where Madea goes to prison and meets a variety of eclectic characters, including Candy, a hooker played by Keisha Knight Pulliam, whom many of you may remember as Rudy Huxtable in “The Cosby Show” all those years back. Well, she’s 29 now, which makes her the perfect age to play a woman who sells her body to pay the bills, the oldest and noblest profession in human existence. I understand that, in Madea Goes to Jail, Candy will learn many valuable life lessons from Madea, like how to properly wear clothing that covers your ass and how to avoid unwanted pregnancy by jumping up and down after intercourse.

In other scintillating remake news, Ashley Tisdale, another one of the effervescent teens that gained popularity in the High School Musical movies (I haven’t seen any of them, but I hear they’re awesome!), is set to star in the remake of the 1989 musical, Teen Witch, another film I haven’t yet had the good fortune to see, but the original had Dick Sargent of “Bewitched” fame as the father, so it had to be a rollicking good show! Granted, it was not particularly well received at the time, but that’s probably those critics had not yet learned the value of a positive message! The movie has been put into production by United Artists, the studio now owned by the enthusiastically in love, religiously devout Tom Cruise, who has put his considerable box-office capitol into this worthy project!

In promising casting news, director Charles Winkler (son of Irwin, but apparently not related to Henry) has assembled his principles for Streets of Blood, a movie about two police officers dealing with the lawlessness after Hurricane Katrina, a tragedy that has emboldened New Orleans and revealed the compassion and generosity of our United States government. Starring in the film will be Val Kilmer (awesome!), 50 Cent (double awesome!) and Sharon Stone (triple awesome!), who plans to put aside her valiant humanitarian efforts for the eight-week shoot that begins next month. How much fun would it be to hang out on the set with Sharon Stone for two months! I know, right?

A little later today, in his review of Pathology, I do hope you’ll excuse our newest critic, Brian Prisco, for taking a needless swipe at the brilliant Jason Statham film, Crank (he’s new — he doesn’t know any better, bless him), and take heart, instead, that the cast and story is finally coming together for the sequel. Amy Smart (the girl-next-door cutie with immense actressin’ talents) and Effren Ramirez (the multi-faceted thespian who played Pedro in Napoleon Dynamite) will both return to the sequel, along with Statham himself, whose character has been given a battery-operated heart that requires regular jolts of electricity to keep it pumping, an ingenious way to continue a franchise after its hero met a certain death at the end of the first Crank. What will those crazy screenwriters think up next! Medals, people! Everyone mentioned in today’s round-up deserves a medal!

Moving on to the trailer watch, let’s start with My Best Friend’s Girl, which looks to be a mind-blowingly awesome romantic comedy starring Kate Hudson and a favorite around these parts, Mr. Dane Cook, who sends me into spasms of joy every time I hear him intentionally mispronounce the word “sandwich.” I’m telling you: This guy is the next Eddie Murphy, only funnier!

And then there’s House Bunny, starring Anna Faris as a Playboy Bunny booted from the mansion and forced to find her way in this crazy world by becoming a house mother at a sorority house where the talented Katherine McPhee and the beautiful Rumer Willis play sorority girls. Oh, that Anna: She’s always exploring new and interesting roles. I can’t wait for this one!

And finally, the teaser trailer for Frank Miller’s solo directorial debut, The Spirit. And what I love most about this trailer is that it says everything you need to know about the film!

If You're Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Pajiba!

The Daily Trade Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Industry | April 22, 2008 |

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

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