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August 21, 2008 |

By Daniel Carlson | Industry | August 21, 2008 |

Doesn’t that frosty bottle of Newcastle look good right now? I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty drunk right now, and while that might get you fired or at least affect your performance at a regular job, I’m hoping it lends my round-up an air of whimsy that often goes missing when I find myself reflecting on the sheer idiocy and pointlessness of the shit I’m writing about. Granted, I’ve already deleted words like five times, and I’m relying so heavily in the auto-word-fix thingy that I feel like I’m retarded — like Tropic Thunder retarded — but I think we can get through this.

So the hed — the headline, for those not in the business — is all about Pajiba holes being dry and comforting or something, which I’m willing to bet doesn’t make sense to most readers, especially given the fact that it’s tied to a picture of nature’s own sweet sweet brew. But it’s an arcane reference to a line describing hobbit holes in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit; yes, I didn’t get laid at all in high school. I used the line because the lead item in today’s round-up is all about the pair of films being made based on The Hobbit, since the films based on The Lord of the Rings made something like 20 kaflillion dollars even though they were largely bludgeoning films that traded Tolkien’s restrained prose for swooping camera moves delivered with all the sweaty unsubtlety you’d expect of the guy who did The Frighteners. Peter Jackson, who directed the Rings trilogy, is producing the Hobbit films, and Guillermo del Toro is directing. They’ve been searching for a writer for a while, but they’ve decided that what the hell, they’ll write it themselves. I mean, sure, they’ve each displayed their own ability with visuals, whether it’s the eerie and let’s face it annoying close-ups of Jackson’s work, or the more stylized look of del Toro’s films, which are closer to what you’d get if Satan made a pop-up book come to life and speak Spanish. Who cares if their actual writing forays — like Jackson’s King Kong or del Toro’s Mimic — were demonstrations of what at best could be described as mere competence? Let ‘em write it. They seem happy, and they’re beard brothers, which is the strongest bond you can have. Plus, good on Pete for losing the weight. That’s hard to do, man.

Maan, I’m drunk. My arms feel all heavy and light, and I’ve got that great camera tracking effect where you turn your head and your eyes don’t really lock on an object, they just glide across the scenery. The drive home was an eventful one. Good thing I was on the phone.

What else, what else: Phoenix Pictures is producing an adaptation of The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag, based on the Robert Heinlein novella and to be directed by Alex Proyas (the underrated Dark City, the overrated The Crow, and the basically stupid I, Robot). The story is apparently about a man who realizes he can’t account for what he did during his day, or even how he makes a living, at which point a married pair of detectives step in to investigate and discover what one can assume are some pretty big secrets in re: the dude’s day-to-day. Proyas said he’s loved the story since he was a kid, and that it’s “part of (his) creative DNA,” so I guess he’s the right guy for the job. But Proyas is in postproduction on a project right now, and he’s also set up to direct Dracula Year Zero (srsly), so the Heinlein project won’t shoot until 2010. Basically, forget I said anything.

The kind of commercials that come on this late at night are just wildly depressing. A woman in a pink tank top and snug jeans was just talking on the phone while lying on her back and rubbing her thigh in a manner that could only be suggestive of the WILD PHONE SEX you could have if you just dialed the 310 number on the screen. Fucking Westsiders.

Oh kill me now: James McAvoy and Emily Blunt are in talks to voice the title characters in the CG-animated Gnomeo and Juliet, a version of the Shakespeare play with garden gnomes. Damn it, Hollywood, you did it again. I bet you asshats worked backward from the title on that one. Gah. Just … gah.

Did anyone else know that there’s a Poltergeist remake in the works? I can’t tell if that’s news or not. At any rate, the project’s got a pair of writers: Juliet Snowden and Stiles White, best known for their work on 2005’s Boogeyman. (Though Stiles also used to have a lucrative career driving the van on which Teen Wolf car-surfed into our hearts.) So, they’re writing it. That’s pretty much the whole thing. It looks to be the same story as the original. Um, hooray?

At this point I’d usually say something like, “On to the trailer watch,” except there aren’t any good trailers out today. Unless, that is, you want to see the clip for Nia Vardalos’ My Life in Ruins. (Get it? It’s set in Greece. Where there are ruins! Oh, Nia Vardalos, you’re like a giant “Saved by the Bell” episode come to crazy life!) But instead, I’m presenting a clip in honor of the fact that Wes Anderson’s Bottle Rocket will see a Criterion Collection release on DVD and Blu-ray this November (a fact that first showed in a Pajiba trade round-up last October). So with that glorious news in mind, here’s a clip of everybody’s favorite little banana:

And what the hell, here’s one of Bob:

Daniel Carlson is the managing editor of Pajiba and a low-level employee at a Hollywood industry magazine. After receiving free drinks from Annette the Polish barmaid at Molly Malone’s, he’s in love. You can visit his blog, Slowly Going Bald.

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