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October 9, 2007 | Comments ()



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Pajiba and Miri Make a Porno

The Daily Trade Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Trade News | October 9, 2007 | Comments ()


Most of today’s industry news concerns the usual: Sequels and remakes that will make you want to make whippets out of your own flatulence. But, let’s start with some gossip surrounding Kevin Smith’s next project, Zack and Miri Make a Porno. The logline is typical of a Smith project — two friends, both in their late 20s and feeling various strains of adulthood, decide to launch an amateur porn studio to impress their classmates at an upcoming high school reunion — though, Zack and Miri is not another Jersey flick; this one is set in Minnesota, so all donkey copulation scenes will presumably be prefaced with uff da (Jason Mewes will need some speech lessons). Smith has described the movie as “”a bawdy sex comedy with heart,” and, as I’ve written before, I think the Apatow crew owes a small debt of gratitude to Smith for paving the way for modern “bawdy sex comedies with heart,” though I’ve confessed that Clerks may have been the best comedy of all time (instead of third or fourth best) if Apatow had directed it and Seth Rogen had played Silent Bob. Well, the latest completely unfounded and probably absolutely untrue rumors may be the second best thing: Seth Rogen is in the running to play Zack in Smith’s next feature. And while it may never happen, the mere thought of putting Rogen and Smith together on the same film makes the gospel chorus of angels in my subconscious to do a little jig and cover a Randy Newman number David E. Kelley style (“Don’t want no short people …”). Of course, there are also rumors that Zach Braff could take the part, a thought that clobbered the angels in my subconscious with a mallet and then ripped their heads off while they were singing Zeppelin numbers backwards.

In other Kevin Smith news, he reported on his blog that the Weinsteins have decided to pass on Red State, the low budget horror movie Smith is writing and directing (and which we told you about here). As Smith wrote, “It’s the first time Harvey and Bob have passed on anything I’ve wanted to do, but if they were gonna pass on anything, this’d be the one to do it on. The only explanation Michael gives me is ‘Harvey thought it was more of a Bob flick and then Bob didn’t get it. They’d rather just concentrate on ‘Zack and Miri’ at the moment, which we’re all pumped about.” Fair enough — the film doesn’t have a lot of commercial viability, but then again, neither did Clerks. Still, if the budget is — as reported — only $3 million, well, Bob and Harvey are idiots; the commenters on View Askew are good for $5 million in box-office receipts, alone.

(p.s. Buy Kevin Smith’s new book, “My Boring Ass Life,” now available at Amazon for only $10.17!)

See, as it turns out, Bob and Harvey — I guess — would rather spend millions of dollars producing shitty sequels, like this one: A fourth Scream. Yep. Because clearly what we need is to see another decent original film further diluted by crappy and unnecessary sequels. The Weinstein Company has greenlit the movie, with the hopes of bringing back Wes Craven to direct, though there is no script yet. I don’t even remember what happened in installments two and three, except that (spoiler alert) Scott Foley was the villain in one of them. So, naturally, I’m about as excited about Scream IV as I am about news that Wesley Snipes is filming a sequel to The Art of War, which is to say: I don’t give a shit.

However, for purely unintentional comedy reasons, I have to admit I’m semi-excited that there is not only a third, but also a fourth, Anaconda movie in the works, both of which will go straight to DVD and make some inebriated college kid and/or movie critic a very happy man come 2008. Why all the excitement? Because The Hoff — who, sadly, will not be reprising his role on the television revival of “Knight Rider”will be starring in both sequels. And you know what that means, right? Mrs. Pajiba-hyphenate and I have one helluva date night to look forward to; good thing, too: Date night has suffered ever since ABC cancelled “Bingo Night in America,” after only two weeks. (Oh, and FYI: The Hoff will be playing a billionaire mercenary who goes out to the jungle to track down an anaconda because it holds the cure for some obscure disease).

Elsewhere, in sequel news that actually does kick moderate amounts of ass, a sequel to the guiltiest pleasure of 2006, Crank has gone from the rumor stage and into development stage. And yes, somehow, it will both star Jason Statham and be a sequel (not a prequel) (for those who didn’t see the original, first of all: Shame on you; and second, Statham’s character was last seen plummeting from a helicopter to his death). How will the writers manage a sequel? Beats me, but co-director Brian Taylor said, “Crank 2 will pick up exactly where Crank one ends. It’s a true sequel. Jason Statham will return. It’s not a prequel, it’s not his brother, it’s not a dream sequence. He will [scrape himself off the floor].” Needless to say, both Crank and, presumably, its sequel, need huge doses of suspension-disbelief medication to enjoy, but if you can let go for 90 minutes — as I wrote of the original — “Jason Statham seemingly walks straight out of an amphetamine brothel and provides a cinematic high no less gratifying than Michael Hutchence’s final autoerotic seconds, squeezing every last bit of energy out of its premise and leaving you limp and gasping for air.”

Out on DVD this week: 28 Weeks Later, Evan Almighty, Reign Over Me, Surf’s Up, and You Kill Me.

Finally, in the trailer watch, it looks like David Dobkin and Vince Vaughn are trying to capture the same iffy magic that Will Ferrell conjured up in Elf for their upcoming holiday movie, Fred Claus. And hell, I dunno: For a family film, it doesn’t look that bad, does it? I’m just kidding myself, aren’t I?



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