September 4, 2007 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | September 4, 2007 |


We’re not generally huge fans of sequels and/or remakes here at Pajiba, but every once in a while, there’s actually the occasional sequel I’d like to see (besides a fourth Bourne, of course) and today’s first item, if done right, is a movie I wouldn’t mind shelling out $10 to absorb: A sequel to the Thomas Crown Affair. I think there are a few of us, at least, who are ashamed to admit that we liked the remake better than Steve McQueen’s original, but there it is: Pierce Brosnan made for a helluva Thomas Crown and John McTiernan captured in that heist flick that likable breeziness which Soderbergh, et. al. McFranchised a couple of years later with the Ocean’s films. We touched upon the sequel in the development-hell stage, but it looks like it’s not only going forward as The Topkapi Affair — based on Eric Ambler’s book Light of Day, which formed the basis for the 1964 caper, Topkapi — but that it’s found a new leading lady: Angelina Jolie. And you know what? I got no complaints with that. I have no idea what happened to Rene Russo (in fact, after Thomas Crown she slummed it for a few years before completely falling off the map — I’m guessing that, based on Hollywood’s distaste for wrinkles, she was airbrushed out of existence), but Jolie would seem to fit the coolish vibe of the films rather decently (though I doubt she’ll replicate the “topless vibe” that Russo brought to the first movie).

Has your remote ever run out of batteries while channel flipping just as you inadvertently land on “According to Jim”? It leads to a pretty chaotic scene, one in which you find yourself running around the house in one sock and a pair of boxers looking frantically for whichever you find first: A couple of double AA batteries or a baseball bat you can take to your new flatscreen. It’s the sort of homicidal loathing that Jim Belushi inspires — and now! At absolutely no cost to you at home, he’s going to bring his brand of seizure-inducing humor to the big screen! Lucky us! Indeed, he’s not only directing The Catch, but he’ll also be starring, presumably as the 42-year-old lead who returns to college and, because of a promise he made to his father, ends up playing tight-end for the football team. Hey Jim: It wasn’t that great a movie when it was called Necessary Roughness, and I don’t imagine putting a douchespigot both in front of and behind the camera will make it any more appealing, you fucking pud. How many times do you think your parents ever said to themselves, “Man, why couldn’t it have been Jim?”

Elsewhere, I’m happy to announce our newest feature to the Tuesday round-up: Where Are They Now? In our first installment, we look at the 1987 film, *batteries not included, the $32 million hit about a group of apartment tenants that befriend a few alien mechanical life-forms, who then “discourage” developers from razing the complex. The film, co-scripted by Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Iron Giant), garnered several positive reviews, including a thumbs up from Roger Ebert. The movie featured Oscar-winning Jessica Tandy and Oscar nominated Hume Cronyn, as an elderly couple who run a greasy spoon below the complex. So, where are they now?

Dead.

Moving on, does anybody remember the arcade game Joust? You know, each player is a knight with a lance who goes around killing enemy knights while flying on an ostrich and picking up eggs. Yeah. Well, they’re making that into a movie, nevermind that the video game itself was apparently designed with a TRS-80 and possessed all the narrative possibilities of a goddamn bathroom tile. What’s more is that, based on the massive success they expect from the movie, some fuckstick extraordinaire from DC comics is actually writing a graphic novel to coincide with the movie’s release, a movie that will be about knights. Who fly around on ostriches (and sometimes emus!). And pick up eggs. I can’t fucking wait.

Danny Boyle also has a new movie in the works, having struck out box-office wise with Sunshine. This time out, he seems to be trying for something similar in tone to Millions with a movie called Slumdog Millionaire. Based on a true story, Slumdog is about an illiterate kid in Mumbai who looks to become a contestant on the Hindu version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in order to re-establish contact with a lost love, whom he only knows is an ardent fan of the show. It’s actually a pretty sweet story, and I suspect that Boyle can bring the appropriate mix of humor and poignancy to the narrative.

On DVD this week: Delta Farce and Georgia Rule, which would make a great double feature in purgatory.

Finally, in the trailer watch, we bring you the unfortunate realization that Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen will not always be infallible. The Apatow-produced Drillbit Taylor was co-written by Seth Rogen (and John Hughes, of all people) and stars Owen Wilson. The strange thing is: 1) it’s an amusing concept, and 2) at least based on the trailer, you couldn’t ask for a better person to play the lead in Owen Wilson, who fits the role to a T. And yet, it seems awfully lacking. I’m guessing it’s because it won’t be a R-rated film and because it’s helmed by Steven Brill, who directed the two worst of all of Sandler’s features (Little Nicky and Mr. Deeds) as well as the abhorrent Without a Paddle. C’mon, Judd: You can’t find a better director than that?

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Thomas Crown Pajiba

The Daily Trade Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Trade News | September 4, 2007 | Comments ()



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