“Zodiac”, Sigourney, Rumours, “Ugly Betty” and Treat Williams
Glug, Glug Glug, and what about…
This…I’m as excited as a pig near mud about James Cameron’s next movie. Oh, it’s called “Avatar” – just in case you’ve been electricity, and therefore unable to run your PC, for the past twelve months. Judging from who is involved (you’d all know by now that Australia’s Sam Worthington – make sure you come back, mate! – has the lead role; which is just great for him), it’s going to be cooler than an air conditioner on its highest setting. Aint it Cool just confirmed that Sigourney Weaver has snagged a plum role in the thing, too. Yep, the “Aliens” star and her director [Cameron] are getting back together for another sci-fi blockbuster!. Very cool. I think Weaver is terrific – in fact, she even makes a shitty film watchable. Lately though, she seems wasted. Do you know what I mean? Yeah, she was OK in that Truman Capote film – -nah, the other one – - “Infamous” – but most of the other stuff she’s done of late, like “Company Man” and “The Village”, have done nothing for her. Nothing. She had some good moments in “Holes”, but most don’t even remember her in it. I am stoked that Cameron has found room for her in “Avatar”. She’ll rock that party. Hopefully it’s the first in a long line of great future parts for the only woman who can calm Carrie Henn down.
If you’re all like ‘What the fuck’s so good about Sigourney Weaver?’, I want you to head down to your video store and check out a few of her films. She’s done so many good movies, it’s hard to pick the five best, but here are the five I’d suggest starting with:
1. Aliens – The ultimate action movie. Seriously. It gets no better. Over twenty-years old now, and it still holds up well. Weaver established herself as the ultimate action heroine in this one… and James Cameron again proved he knows what an audience wants; after impressing the shit out of us two years before (who could ever forget heading to the theatre to watching it on the opening weekend, hey?), “The Terminator”. It’s a long-shot, but I hope that the Cameron/Weaver reunion gets them talking about that “Alien 5” project that they once intended on reuniting for. That’d be sweeter than Keira.
2.Ghostbusters – Weaver doesn’t really own the film, because it’s such an awesome ensemble effort (Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson & Rick Moranis), but this one goes down in history as one of her sexiest [see also “Galaxy Quest”] and most likeable roles. It’s hard to imagine anyone else playing Dana – when she levitated off the bed, you believed it.
3.Woking Girl – One of the best romantic comedies of the late 80s, with Weaver as one of the best villainesses of the era. With Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford, Weaver helped ‘Working Girl’ rises above its passable script by giving a terrific performance in a film that was full of them [Joan Cusack was also wonderful; as was Alec Baldwin]. Tell me you weren’t cheering in the aisles when Tess found out she got ‘the job’ and the Carly Simon track came into play?
4. Gorilla’s in the Mist – Not a brilliant movie by any means, but it does feature one of Weaver’s best performances. This is essentially a showcase for her – besides Byran Brown, who pops in and out of the picture, she’s usually the sole human in a scene – and you can’t help but think Diane Fossey, the real-life lass that she played, would be damn proud of the movie, and Weaver’s performance.
5.Copycat – Again, not a brilliant movie (it’s a popcorn thriller at its core; one that’s as cheesy as hell), but a chance for Weaver to show us how versatile she is. Here, she plays the polar opposite of Ripley – a victimised woman who has become so frightened of the outside world that she just doesn’t go out. Weaver has done quite a few no-brainers in her career, but this is one of the better ones.
Glug, Glug Glug, and what about…..
I’ve thought about it for a while – more than I probably should’ve – and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s better to just come and say it than to not. Oh, you can get your arrow away from that ‘compose’ button you Russell Crowe fans (and, for that matter, that one guy – and his multiple email addresses – who likes to write in and complain about Warner not using Katie Holmes for the “Batman Begins” series), because I’m not about to attack the dear Cinderella Man this time (not that I ever do. In fact, all I have to do is give one of his films 3 stars instead of 5 – as was the case with “A Good Year” – and they’ll attack!) Um, anywhere, where was I… oh, yeah, I was just going to say… “Ugly Betty ain’t all that”.
It ain’t. Ok, it’s great to see a young woman who isn’t considered your typical Hollywood beauty headlining a series, and it’s equally as refreshing to see a Latino character up front, but seriously, could the show be any more hyped? It’s so vanilla, and yet the world’s been fooled into thinking it’s choc honeycomb. Seriously, it ain’t that tasty.
I sat down and watched the first few episodes last week – thanks to our friends at the 7 network – and thought I found it enjoyable enough, and easy to watch, I just couldn’t work out what all the fuss was about. The story arc’s – what wasn’t pinched from the “Devil Wears Prada”, first a book, then a movie – aren’t that captivating, the performances are a little undercooked, and the jokes are about as thin as a Maxi pad. I hear it gets better later on… does it? Is it just a case of the first season finding its feet? I’ll revisit it later, to see whether it’s improved any.
So… what will I be watching on TV this year? Good question. I guess I’ll be tuning into all the regulars – like “The Sopranos”, “Battlestar Galactica”, “24”, “Lost” and “Entourage” – and I’ll probably stick with some of the ‘hot new shows’ (Not one of them has me selling my soul to own future scripts, though) like “Prison Break” and “Heroes”. To tell you the truth though, the shows that I’m really enjoying on TV at the moment get a real bum deal here in Australia. “Rescue Me”, for instance, is a show I love – I’d possibly consider it my favourite. It aired on cable here, with the second season wrapping up last year. So where’s the third? Who the hell knows? The show moved stations – jumped from one cable station to the other – and has decided to press rewind and kick off from the first season again. Yep, the first season – leaving all us die-hard fans wondering not only where the hell it is, but asking if the third season will in fact ever be shown here? God, I hope so – it’s supposed to be the best one yet.
Anyway, also really enjoy “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” – met Matthew Perry at Warner last year; who was very excited about the show – but it hasn’t had much support from viewers. In fact, it’s about to get the chop – says the rumour mill. If you have a chance to catch it, please do, because it’s a really well written, really funny and very insightful show; Sarah Paulson is fuckin’ gold in it. Best she’s ever been. And Perry? Well, he’ll have you forgetting about Chandler within a couple of episodes. Truly.
One of my other faves – though this whole ‘stand alone’ episode thing is worrying – is “Veronica Mars”, which airs in a shocking late night timeslot. Thanks to being based at Warner there for a while last year, I was able to catch up on an lot of the episodes… and I’m still hooked. It’s great. I don’t know whether it’s the writing, or spunky Kristen Bell, but it’s just so damn addictive. Its like crack, without the stinky whore wanting a bit of you at the end of the session.
I’m really missing “Deadwood” though. I tell ya, that was right ‘up there’ for me. It was just such a classy, well-made show. They keep putting those telemovies off – to the point where I personally think, they won’t do them. Someone told me that Timothy Olyphant is so booked up at the moment (he’s been signed for three “Hitman” movies), that he’s not considering doing any television again in the near future. Bummer.
In a couple of months, we’ll have a crop of new shows…none have them have got evoked wood yet… I dunno, tell me if I wrong, but I don’t really see a TV spin-off of “Mr & Mrs Smith” lasting much more than 12 episodes? Do you? “Drive”, on the other hand, that has the potential to be huge – if given a chance. It sounds classier than a first-class stewardess on a direct flight to Singapore.
Glug, Glug Glug, and what about…..
Bullshit rumours. A BS rumour – well, there is a chance that there was some truth to it at one stage; especially since the site that received the scoop said it came from a reliable tipster – crossed the wires this week, relating to a possible “Jaws 5”. You know the one. Universal were apparently looking at continuing the popular series on DVD, eyeing a script e called “Jaws : Rising” – that centred on Brody’s kid’s kids (get that?) doing battle with Bruce the Shark.
Anyway, Kevin Smith (I don’t know why the hell he looked into the rumour – - – unless he’s a member of that long lost ‘Roy Scheider Appreciation Society’?), the filmmaker, asked Universal whether there was any truth to the rumours… and they said, ‘Nup, not at all’. So… I guess that squishes that fish. And another online rumour bites the dust.
I feel for the guys that received the scoop. I do. It’s so hard to decipher what’s true or false, when you’re sent a scoop – especially from someone that has previously proven to be correct. I tell ya, I get a shitload of scoops every week, and only about 10% of them are accurate. Most of the time, it’s someone sending you a note to say “Variety reported that Tom Cruise is making Top Gun 2” or something… which, of course, is a waste of their time because, um, we read Variety and can check whether that was said. Other times, they’re really good – providing company email addresses, sometimes even phone numbers, and lots of information to back their claim up. We have all been burnt at one stage or another – I recall the “Superman” rumours that stung us a couple of years back – and it doesn’t look like slowing down.
Please, people, if you keep sending in BS rumours to the film websites… you’re only going to kill the reliability and integrity of the web as an information source. Surely you’ve got other things to do with your time? Pop in a DVD and slip a sock on it for a while.. Or something?
Anyway, here are some of the best bullshit rumours over the past couple of years from some bastard cumquats… some of these are truly amusing… and then there’s others that’ll probably be greenlit a week after this column goes to print.
Michelle Pfeiffer appearing in “Batman Begins” – Might have been cool… but it wouldn’t have made a hell of a lot of sense?
Matt Le Blanc as “Iron Man” – Paramount hire the star of “Joey” and, um, “Lost in Space” to headline their big-budget IM movie? Priceless.
Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Tarantino’s next? : Rumours swirled that the action kings of 80s cinema were uniting for the next Quentin Tarantino movie, “Inglorious Bastards”. The actors knew nothing about it. Another great Tarantino rumour was the one about him directing a new “Friday the 13th” movie – he gladly debunked that one about a month after it surfaced.
Melissa George to play Superman’s cousin? : Only weeks after it was announced that a writer was working on a new “Supergirl” script, someone came up with the idea that the former Aussie soap star would be perfect for Kara.
Damon & Affleck are the new Redford/Newman? : The British press went bananas with a rumour that “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” was in the works… with Matt and Ben in the leads. Ha!
Bateman Vs. Jason? : I remember hearing something about Jason Bateman playing the Tommy Jarvis role (a role played by Corey Feldman in the previous ‘Friday the 13th’ movies) in “Freddy Vs. Jason”- it was later revealed that the character wasn’t even in the film.
Estevez returns for more “Ducks”? : I don’t doubt that there’s a fourth “Mighty Ducks” in the works, somewhere, but I never believed that Emilio Estevez and Joshua Jackson would star in it.
Under Siege : In a hot air balloon : Can’t remember where I first read this one, but it apparently pertained to a new “Under Siege” script that saw Ryback taking on terrorists in a hot air balloon. Bloody hilarious!
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 2 : John Hughes’ films are easy targets, because we know that somewhere out there someone is considering remaking them, or sequelizing them. There were heaps of unfounded “Ferris 2” rumours; one that springs to mind involved a newcomer replacing Matthew Broderick for a direct-to-video sequel.
Angelina Jolie as Linda Lovelace : Even I believed this one. Admit it, you can almost see Angie doing that movie. Sadly – sniffle – it was all the result of someone’s over-active imagination.
Captain America is… Mr Smith? : Rumours about Brad Pitt playing Captain America seem to pop up every twelve months… and no, he isn’t.
Hugh Jackman is Superman’s Dad? : This one got a good run. It involved Hugh Jackman making a cameo appearance in “Superman Returns” as Jonathan Kent. I’m sure I even ran that one at one stage… it seemed credible; after all, Bryan Singer worked with Jackman on the “X-Men” movies, why wouldn’t he do it?
Joss Whedon over the ‘Moon’ : Recent rumours have suggested that “Buffy” creator Joss Whedon is keen on making a film version of the anime hit “Sailor Man”. Thing is, he isn’t.
A Steven Spielberg Film? : Another recent rumour was that Steven Spielberg was interested in directing the “World of Warcraft” movie – the movie is happening, but not with Spielberg.
Minogue’s Die Another Day – A couple of years back, rumours surfaced that the Minogue sisters, Dannii & Kylie, were in talks to play vixens in a Bond movie. From memory, that would’ve been “Die Another Day”. Fortunately, there was no truth to any of it.
Bruce Willis in ‘24’ movie? : I can take full responsibility for this one. A reliable scooper informed one of our writers that Willis had agreed to participate in a new ‘24’ film with buddy, Kiefer Sutherland. It all sounded rather legimiate – although, looking back on it, I can’t understand why Sutherland would wanna share the screen? – until FOX confirmed the rumours false.
Jason Biggs in ‘Kill Bill’ : One of the many rumours that spread thanks to an erroneous listing on IMDB. Because anyone can update that site, credits are attributed to actors that most likely have never had anything to do with a particular movie.
A remake of ‘Dirty Harry’ : I checked in with Malpaso last year and discovered there wasn’t an ounce of truth to the rumours that someone’s bringing “Dirty Harry” back. I think the last I heard they – whatever nuisance went out with it – had The Rock starring in it?
The list, unfortunately, goes on…
Caffeinated Clint’s knobhead of the week : The publicist who told me 1) that he’s been trying to contact me for weeks, before telling me that he just started at [company] and then, 2) asked if I still work for Moviehole, and if so, what do I do for ‘them’? Priceless.
Caffeinated Clint smiled when…. : He saw the international trailer for the new “Die Hard” film… which they’re calling overseas, “Die Hard 4.0”. You know what? I actually like that title better. To the point though… the trailer is actually better than the current stateside one… looks slick.
Fab but [possibly] Forgotten : Treat Williams . Best known, these days, for his role as the kind-hearted Dr. Andy Brown on “Everwood” – which was sadly cancelled after four reasonably successful [but not successful enough, according to the nework] seasons, Williams has had quite the career. In the 70s, he appeared in the films “Hair” and “1941”; in the 80s, he was in “Once Upon a Time in America”, “Dead Heat” and “Flashpoint”, among others; and in the 90s, he appeared in such films as “The Devil’s Own”, “Things to do in Denver When You’re Dead”, “Deep Rising” and “The Phantom”, in which he played the villain, Xander Drax. Action fans will also remember that he reprised Tom Berenger’s role from “The Substitute” for a couple of direct-to-video sequels. It’s his role on “Everwood” that’s arguably his best part to date though – and the one that’ll hopefully have more TV/film producers knocking down his door to work with him. He recently did a four-episode guest-stint on “Brothers & Sisters” so that’s a nice start. His next film is the mystery thriller “The Hideout” with Burt Young.
Please make this movie… : The Crusades. I’ve been reading about this bitch since I was old enough to buy my own copy of Premiere (a ten-year-old buying a copy of a film industry magazine was quite a sight to behold in the small country town where I grew up] – probably some twenty years or so back, now. It has always had Arnold Schwarzenegger attached to it, in one-way or another (I believe he’s still on as a producer), but not even his presence could get it a greenlight. At one stage it was Paul Verhoeven, director of Arnie’s “Total Recall”, that was attached as director. As the Dutch filmmaker recently said, “The story of the Crusades is the murderous attack of the Christians on the Arabs and the Jews. Do you think that’s a politically interesting situation?”. Nup, not gonna happen.
5 movies Caffeinated Clint sat through [possibly again] this week :
1. Infamous – Much like the competing Wyatt Earp movies from a couple of years back (“Tombstone” and “Wyatt Earp”) or the giant asteroid blockbusters in direct competition a while back (“Deep Impact” and “Armageddon”), neither “Capote” or “Infamous” are any better than one another – except, well, for the face that “Capote” has done a bit better at the box office, and bought its star some accolades – it’ll simply be a matter of taste. For me, I found the more straight-forward narrative of “Capote”, and Hoffman’s performance, a tad more mesmerising. You might not.
2. School for Scoundrels – Granted, the film could have done with a lot more laughs. The kind of laughs that the film possesses are the ones that’ll put a smile on your dial, but won’t exactly have you rolling around the floor in laughter. There were some real opportunities here for some side-splitting moments… but Phillips’ seems intent on keeping himself on a leash. In addition, his script is riddled with more holes than Mark Lee at the end of “Gallipoli”. Does it matter? Nah, not really, because you’re not expecting much anyway so it’ll already surprise with you with just how super silly and sensationally sweet it is. I guess you’d say this is probably the film that Anger Management – starring Jack Nicholson and Adam Sandler – should’ve been. And though you’ll forget it within half an hour after watching it, its admittedly one ‘School’ you definitely want to enrol in.
3. Notes on a Scandal – If “Single White Female” (1992) is a rusted rough-travelling 1975 Charger, then “Notes on a Scandal” is that same 1975 Charger with the rust removed; a good oil-and-grease and a nifty new paint job that makes it look almost brand new. Patrick Marber’s script for “Scandal”, a new two-hander starring thespians Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench, is eerily similar to one of those jealous psycho friends films of the 90s, but unlike say, Don Roo‘s libretto for “Female” – remember that one? Jennifer Jason Leigh is obsessed with new roommate, Bridget Fonda, and starts to emulate her and eventually, pretends to be her – it’s such a class act that you’re fooled into believing it’s the first film of its kind.
4. Man of the Year – And the award for most misleading marketing campaign for a movie, goes to: “Man of the Year”. “Squid and the Whale” (not a kids film in the vein of “Madagascar” apparently), “RV” (not a biopic on the guy that played “The Man from UNCLE”), “Hannibal Rising” (thought it was the damn long-awaited “A-Team” movie!) and “Little Children” (thought it was the long-lost “Baby Geniuses 2 : Super Babies”), all get to take home a showbag for being runners-up though. There’s a moment at the start of Robin Williams’ latest movie in which co-star Christopher Walken is reminding his friend just how powerful and popular his knack for comedy is. In short, the people want it. He has to give it. For a while there, the funny man takes his advice – and goes totally off the leash – and the Robin Williams we know and love returns! 45 minutes later, someone injects some kind of slow acting serum into Mork from Ork’s neck and he becomes more serious, and less funny, by the minute.
5. Scream 3 – Not because I wanted to watch it again, but because it was the closest DVD to me when I needed something to play to check the sound system. This is a pretty lousy sequel, isn’t it? It really misses Kevin Williamson’s golden touch. In many ways, it’s not far off from Wes Craven’s “Cursed” – lots of stars, lots of blood… but mainly, just stitched together scenes that make sense, and jokes that fall flatter than Kiefer Sutherland after two bottles of Scotch.
Words of Wisdom from Mrs Caffeinated Clint :
(A scientist who seems to be able to sum up the world – or a movie – in just a few words, whilst the rest of us feel a page review isn’t even sufficient).
“She’s such a scrubber. …Maybe she shouldn’t open her mouth?” – Mrs Morris on how Keira Knightley can transform into another person the moment she opens her refined little mouth.
Contact Clint at his MySpace