We’re going to kick off the morning with a few quick hits, and quickly put these tidbits of interest to bed.
First off, although The World’s Greatest Dad — directed by Bobcat Goldthwait and starring Robin Williams — doesn’t open in theaters until August 21st, if you have Video on Demand, you can watch it now. And, in fact, I’d recommend it. We reviewed the movie favorably last April when it screened at the Boston International Film Festival.
It’s a twisted black black comedy, one that gets unpleasantly uncomfortable at times — part of you wants to root for Lance’s success, while the other part is disgusted at his exploitative behavior. But in any respect, Lance still manages to be one of the few sympathetic characters in the movie. Robin Williams is great in a muted, restrained role — he continues to prove that he’s a far better dramatic actor than he is a comedic one. Goldthwait — who directed 1991’s Shakes the Clown, which also could’ve been a darker more twisted comedy if it hasn’t been marred by the era-appropriate cast (Julie Brown, ugh) — seems to hit the exact right tone for World’s Greatest Dad: When it’s funny — and it often is — you’re too ashamed to laugh. His pacing lumbers at times, but his script is insanely good, and the performances are excellent.
Check it out. Also currently on Video on Demand: Dead Snow and Pontypool.
In other news, DJ Caruso — a protege of Steven Spielberg who I once had much higher hopes for before he directed the fairly terrible Eagle Eye — has signed on to direct a video game movie, Dead Space. The EA title, which still doesn’t have a screenwriter attached, is set in the 26th century in deep space, where an engineer who responds to a distress signal from a mining ship finds the vessel infested with monstrous creatures called Necromorphs. The creatures are human corpses, reanimated by an alien virus.
Video game movies aren’t getting any better, really, but at least they’re getting better directors these days than Paul W.S. Anderson and Uwe Boll. Baby steps.
In other news, Warren Ellis — a fairly popular and prolific comic-book writer who also wrote one of my favorite fiction books in 2007, Crooked Little Vein — is now working on a screenplay for The Hollywood Gang, the producers behind 300. Details are scant, except that it’s called Excalibur and it’s another King Arthur movie, which may or may not be a remake of John Boorman’s 1981 movie.
Finally, word is out that Wes Anderson’s next film, the stop-motion Fantastic Mr. Fox — based on Roald Dahl’s children’s book about a community of burrowing animals who battle a trio of evil farmers — will open the London Film Festival in October. It will be the film’s world premiere. There’s still no trailer for the movie, but a few new images have surfaced over on USA Today, which provides a better idea of what we can look forward to.