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October 30, 2007 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | October 30, 2007 |

Before we begin with today’s usual litany of crappy remakes, sequels, and creepy Fanning sister concepts, I’d like to shamelessly plug our newest sister site, Webster’s is my Bitch. And, before some of the more hard-core Pajibers click over and find yourself in a morass of celebrity glossies and glossary terms, let me warn you ahead of time: It’s a celebrity and media gossip site (with a twist) that Stacey and I are blogrunning (expect frequent cameos from the TV Whore, too). And, because I think honesty is imperative here, I’ll admit that I had some slight misgivings about publishing a celebrity (and media) gossip site — that I might participate in a blog devoted to possibly discussing the lives of starletards felt not only a little icky, but I suppose slightly hypocritical, given our collective position on those-who-we-do-not name. But, I decided to take the stick out of my own ass and have fun with it — after all, to suggest we don’t peddle in celebrities on this site is dishonest; we just write about their professional output, instead of their personal (though, the line there is pretty goddamn blurry — I suspect there’s more than a fair amount of overlap). To those readers who abhor celebrity and media gossip, I’ll warn you to keep your distance, but to those who have a guilty fondness for the stuff, but find visiting a site like Perez Hilton’s tantamount to getting caught in an arthouse theater reading Entertainment Weekly, then perhaps Webster’s is my Bitch is a happy medium. Sure, it’s gossip, but we do it under the guise of teaching you something (note: we do not actually teach you anything) — and, at the very least, we expect to widen our scope beyond the traditional print and online rags and feature items on those in the entertainment industry who don’t get the attention that the big three do, in addition to news on media and cultural trends (in our world, for instance, Maggie Gyllenhaal is attractive, though that doesn’t mean that if Adrien Grenier wears something like this that we’re gonna pass that up). Besides, a good 80 percent of Pajiba’s readers came here initially through our ads on gossip blogs, so it seems like a natural extension — there’s a reason why that the Ten Most Bangable Celebrities piece was so popular here, I suspect/hope. Moreover, we’re keen to do Webster’s with a modicum of intelligence and wit, and without the overt misogyny you see on some of the gossip blogs; also, despite the presence of a dominatrix in our logo, there will be absolutely no discussion of masturbation habits on WIMB. Ever. (We just thought the dominatrix was cute!) This is not a spank site disguised as a gossip site, nor will it ever be intentionally hateful, either above or below the comment line. But we will mine the hell out of this site’s Fun with Words and Expressions comment diversion.

Anyway, I encourage you to check it out; we’re cautiously enthusiastic. And, besides, where else are you going to be able to read about Vince Vaughn and Henry Rollins, while learning what “spandexcstacy” and “hyper-democratic celebrity” mean? That’s what I thought. (And, rest assured, besides Pajiba Love, Webster’s won’t spill over onto Pajiba anymore than our other sister site, QuizLaw, does — that is to say, not at all.).

Moving on: It’s all so depressing, I don’t even know where to start. How about here: Last time we discussed the big-screen adaptation of “Dallas,” Robert Luketic (Monster-in-Law) had left the director’s chair over casting decisions, J.Lo and Luke Wilson were abandoned due to budgetary concerns, and the project was in production purgatory. Unfortunately, that’s not where it has remained — in fact, Betty Thomas (John Tucker Must Die, Dr. Doolittle) has sadly taken over the reins, and so far, the cast includes: John Travolta as J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman could eat Travolta and spit out his teeth like sunflower seeds); Josh Brolin as Jock Ewing (I have no idea who Jock Ewing was, nor any explanation as to why his name was “Jock”); Minka Kelly as Pamela Ewing (Minka is the attractive but terribly untalented Bible thumper on “Friday Night Lights”); Julie Benz (“Dexter’s” girlfriend) as Sue Ellen Ewing; and Diane Ladd (Wild at Heart) as Ms. Ellie. All in all, besides Brolin and maybe Ladd, it’s a spectacularly dreadful cast to go along with a director with all the talent of a sequined-heart nipple tassel.

What else: Sam Raimi announced that the director of the third Grudge film will, for the first time, be an American. His name is Toby Wilkins. He is a longtime visual effect artist who once directed an episode of “Best Damn Sports Show Ever.” And I know. I know! A Grudge 3? Hell. This one is about a cursed fetus. Joy. In other trilogy news, Len Wiseman will write and produce, though he won’t direct the next installment of the Underworld franchise — this one is a prequel, an origins story, which means that Kate Beckinsale will not return. And now don’t get me wrong — I actually have a soft spot (that needs the sharp end of a broomstick, I’m sure) for the original Underworld, but isn’t the entire point of the Underworld series to see Wiseman’s wife run around in leather pants? Without Beckinsale, there hardly seems to be a point. I do love that Wiseman calls it a “period piece,” as though — it gives it that whole Edith Wharton appeal, like Daniel Day Lewis and Winona Ryder are gonna walk out in corsets.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Dan Fogler would be playing Alfred Hitchcock in a film called The Number 13, a screwball comedy about Hitchcock’s first, unfinished film. Then, last week, I mentioned that Naomi Watts would be starring in a remake of The Birds. Now comes news that there will actually be a Hitchcock biopic and, it damn near goes without saying, Anthony Hopkins will play Hitchcock. And it’s not really that I have a problem with Hopkins taking that role, it’s that a Hitchcock biopic would exist at all — especially one directed by Ryan Murphy, who is responsible for the absolute mess that was Running with Scissors, an adaptation so awful that Murphy ought to have his library card revoked. If you’re going to take on a movie about freakin’ Alfred Hitchcock’s life, you gotta get a credible director, you know? When Jesus got together with Thomas the Apostle to pose for The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, he got freakin’ Caravaggio, right? He didn’t get some kid with a box of 64 crayons to depict Doubting Thomas; likewise, the life of Hitchcock ought to be left with someone like David Fincher or Christopher Nolan, not the guy who produced and wrote 43 episodes of the WB show, “Popular.”

I’ve never read Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper — about a girl who sues her parents for medical emancipation after she is basically bred and raised specifically to provide spare body parts to her older sister, who has leukemia — but the premise sounds equally intriguing and creepy. So, what better way capitalize on the creepiness factor than by casting not only Dakota Fanning to play the older sister, but also Dakota’s real-life younger sister, Elle, to play the younger sibling? Cameron Diaz will play their mother (yech!), while Nick Cassavettes (The Notebook) is set to direct. Seriously, though — is it just me, or is there something really eerie about Dakota Fanning? You know how when you poke your belly button it makes your inner ear tickle? That’s the best way to describe how Dakota Fanning makes me feel. Sometimes, I get the feeling that her “old soul,” is actually the soul of a cat lovin’ spinster who decided one day to put a kitty under each arm and calmly walk into the ocean. It’s just me, isn’t it?

I featured the unofficial Rambo trailer in last Tuesday’s round-up, but here’s the official trailer for the fourth installment in Stallone’s franchise. Honestly: I have to admit that my 1987 chromosome tingled a little when I watched it.

And here’s a bonus trailer for the upcoming Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. If you’re going to steal a look, feel, and premise from another flick, you could do a lot worse than Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It comes from Zach Helm, who wrote Stranger than Fiction, and though the trailer looks a little on the cheesy side, I’m giving the guy the benefit of the doubt until he gives me reason not to.

Pajiba is my Bitch

The Daily Trade Round-Up / Dustin Rowles

Industry | October 30, 2007 |

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

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