Caffeinated Clint – 24/8/08

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Give it a week and I bet Paula Wagner’s singing Air Supply songs down the line to Tom Cruise. Why? Because that overexposed placenta-eating Mapother’s on the verge of jumping back onto cinema’s cushy couch!

Don’t believe me? Go see “Tropic Thunder”. Cruise is god darn hilarious in it. He eats Ben Stiller breakfast, craps on Jack Black, and reminds Robert Downey Jr that he’s not the only versatile actor in Hollywood. It’s a turn that’ll have Shia LaBeouf buddying up to him come ’09 – because Cruise has transformed!

We’ve seen Tom Cruise play, well, Tom Cruise – in “Tropic Thunder” he plays a fat, sweaty, hairy, foul-mouthed studio head. Not just a realistic character, but one you wouldn’t expect to see ol’ Pearly Whites playing! And wait till he starts dancing! You’ll need Dr. Doogie to stitch up your sides for ya. You’ll do some damage – I promise you. Get your insurance now. Then buy your tickets for the show.

I’ve always liked Tom Cruise (yep, me and Paula). And no, I haven’t been drinking [that much]. Never had a problem with the guy. I know he can go a little bit Gary Busey at times, and I realize he adorns to a religion most of us don’t understand (it’s nuttier than the plot to “Donnie Darko” – but hey, everyone for themselves), but as an actor, he’s accomplished a lot.

The Cruise missile has made us laugh (You’re so funny Joel! Now stop banging that hooker and rescue the egg!), made us cry (Yes, I’m referring to “Mission : Impossible II” – truly heartbreaking to watch), made us quiver (remember when he bit into Thandie Newton’s neck in “Interview with the Vampire”?) and made us cheer (you clapped when he coaxed Renee Zellweger into his coat in “Jerry Maguire” too, right?). Unfortunately, he’d done those things many times over. There was nothing new to see of Tom Cruise – expect, of course, what we’d catch on TMZ. Cruise suddenly became boring. Then just as quickly, weird. The public turned on Richard Grieco, then they turned on Tom Cruise. It’s sad- because the guy has made some fuckin’ awesome movies – Cruise that is (though Grieco’s “If Looks Could Kill” was robbed at the MTV Movie Awards). “Top Gun”, “Risky Business”, “The Color of Money”, “Interview with the Vampire”, “Jerry Maguire”, “Mission : Impossible”, “The Firm” – all fine efforts. You’ll rarely see a Tom Cruise-starring dud. Still, he’s hated. And why? Because off-screen he’s a little different – he doesn’t adorn to the ‘just smile, don’t talk’ rules of Hollywood.

I like a guy that plays by his own rules (I always like a guy that gets to spoon with Joey from “Dawson’s Creek” – but that’s a whole different Kettle of Kettle Chips).

Seriously, who gives a shit what the man does in his own time? Who cares if he butters his bread with cow intestines? I certainly couldn’t care if he baths in the love juice of Michael Ironside. Why should you?

Whatever-the-case, I bet within weeks that Cruise will have won you back. His few short scenes in “Tropic Thunder” are magic – the best performance he’s given in years. He obviously had a hoot playing the part, and it shows. Mimi Rogers might even laugh.

So what now for Cruise?
Well, Cruise needs do another comedy and quick – and apparently he is circling that ‘Chef’ comedy, but hasn’t committed to doing it at his next picture. Next, I believe he’s doing another straight-up thriller.. something along the lines of “The Firm”. Bad move me thinks. I really he think he should continue his attack of the comedy world by either doing the Chef film or “The Hardy Boys” movie that he and Ben Stiller have been talking about doing for the past couple of years. His turn in “Tropic Thunder” works for him – he really needs to go with it for the moment. Nobody wants to see “Tom Cruise – smug good-looking movie star” at the moment, they want to see “Tom Cruise – hiding under a fat suit and being stupid”. Give ‘em that. A few jovial fart comedies and you’ll soon be on your way back to packing out theatres with a period drama about a one-legged Wheat farmer who falls in love with a black stable-mate.

Interesting to note that “Tropic Thunder” claimed the top spot at the box office again this week (Who knows Christian Bale may give it a good bash – er, not the best word to use there – and get Bats back up there next week, once the novelty of “Thunder” dies down) – that’s one less week that Batman’s been atop of the gold perch. …and one less week for you-know-who to gloat, make more car repayments and shoot sperm into a tub full of naked hookers.

I actually hope – and only for one reason – that the numbers on “The Dark Knight” start to drop now. It’s given the brother’s Warner a bigger serving of head than Jenna Jameson usually hands out. As a consequence – you may have read – The WB’s Jeff Robinov is now planning to kick-off production on a whole slate of other superhero movies – that’s fair enough, but get this – films that will be as dark, blooding, depressing and coloured black-and-purple like “The Dark Knight”.

And yes, that includes “Superman”. Jovial Clark Kent himself. Happy-go-lucky Superdude from Space.

Hmmm. Gives new meaning to the term “Tone Deaf”, right?

Anyone else want to see “Superman : The Black Avenger” – the story of a despondent alcoholic reporter who by night wears a dark blue costume to escape his demons? Fuck no! “Superman” is light, fluffy – - – and every other word you’d usually use to describe Kristen Bell. I know only half of you liked “Superman Returns” – but c’mon, at least that was “Superman”. It was fun. Sure, it had dramatic moments – all of the “Superman” movies have – but for the most part, it was a big-screen comic-book come to life. That’s how it should be. Robinov’s new “Superman” film sounds like it’s going to be “The Crow” without the numerous obvious cuts.

So here’s what they’re doing : They’re letting everyone involved in “Superman Returns” go. They’re bringing in a whole new cast – that includes a new Superman; let the fuckin’ elongated search begin. Again! – and a new director. They’re rebooting the franchise.

So here’s what could also be happening : They’re making Lois a crack whore. They’ll have Lex Luthor be a shiny-noggin’d rapist that’s hell-bent on catching the Man in Tights merely because captain muscles busted him with a goat. They’ll have Superman fuck the open end of a bottle to the tune of some Nick Cave tunes. They’ll have Jimmy Olsen hang himself after it’s discovered he’s been secretly filming stories for a tabloid news show.

Yeah, I want to see that about as much as I want to see that new Pamela Anderson reality series. Not one bit.
Where’s the fun in a ‘dark’ “Superman”?

OK, so “Death of Superman” and all those other – can’t think of any right now? Did one have Superman butchering a Nun for her cloth? – dark “Superman” comics worked but you gotta work on your audience a little bit before you serve up something like that. You’ve also got to pad such a movie with enough light stuff that the dark stuff doesn’t have them stopping off at the hardware on the way home for rope. It’s OK for “The Dark Knight” to inspire the odd self-inflicted hanging, but not “Superman” – that series isn’t about that.

I don’t think Jeff Robinov knows the character. The last cartoon he probably watched was “Fritz the Cat”. It clearly wasn’t “Superman” or “Green Lantern”… or “Justice League”. I don’t blame him – he’s not a virgin, he’s acne-free and comic-con doesn’t give him wood, so why read comics? Well, it’s his job. … now more than ever. One “Harry Potter” is gone, Warner are going to go Superhero crazy. They have to. They’ll need their tent-poles. (We all have to do inane things for our job Jeff – Heck, I have to watch Denise Richards’ show for my job sometimes too. I even have to sit through whatever direct-to-video release Jonathan Schaech is putting out any given week. You need to bury himself in a basket of comics, watch some Saturday morning cartoons, and start fuckin’ Lynda Carter).

Obviously money’s the driving factor here – Robinov thinks that “Dark Knight” worked because of the “dark” tone it carried and so obviously every other superhero movie they do from here on out should carry the same “dark shit” tag. Fair enough… but wait. It ain’t the way to go. Wanna know how you’ll help make these other superhero films into global success stories like “Dark Knight”? You stick as close to the source material as you can, you hire the best director for the job, you cast the right person (think outside the box if you have to) in the lead role, and you make sure audiences get their money’s worth. If you put the audience first, the dollars will follow. The “College Road Trip” school of filmmaking went out with last week’s recyclables.

Good luck and God Speed. And please keep Nicolas Cage away from Superman. We will hope for the best!

On a final note, I just wanted to say thanks to you readers – and Kiefer Sutherland. We’ve been drowning in traffic lately (so much so that our server’s struggling – our technical boys, led by the daring David Pham, are working on a solution as we speak) and it’s all thanks to you, the readers. After ten years on the block, we’ve finally gotten somewhere. One paper even went so far as to call me “influential” – don’t know that I agree with that, but I do believe I know the best time to buy your popcorn at the theater is (just before the film starts they put on an extra load. Go then and get some). But look, if someone out there enjoys my opinion, maybe even trusts it, then cool – - I promise not to raise my thumbs to any more straight-to-video “American Pie” comedies.

You wouldn’t believe who I’ve had emails from lately saying they love the site – studio heads, known actors, big-shot directors, and, of course, studio publicists who previously couldn’t have given two flying filofaxes about us. Now that everyone else is working with us, and we’re being mentioned on all the big box-channels (Foxtel) and newspapers (The Los Angeles Times), those few publicists – yep, even the ones who were “too busy to email through production notes this week” – want in. You know what I told them? (and look, I feel like a prick sometimes – but I think you have to be sometimes. As one of the good publicists out there told me the other day “No More Nice Guy, Clint. You don’t help them out with anything unless they help you out“. Thanks T!) : We work on the same guidelines as Ving Rhames here : Pay or Play. You give us some good interviews, advertise with us or let us check out a forthcoming film earlier-than-the-guy-from-the-community-radio-station, and we’ll help you out. Alternatively, you can Play with us for a while – make us believe you’re actually going to treat us like kings, only to quickly change your blackberry number once your front-page promotion of whatever-Martin-Lawrence-has-coming-out finishes. Whatever works. You can pretty much guarantee we won’t be chasing you – you want a few million people becoming aware of your release? Then hit me up. It’s your loss if you don’t get involved in Moviehole – just like it’s FOX’s loss that they don’t work in with Aint it Cool News. “Hey, we wanna do a huge promotion on Moviehole for xxx, but we can’t offer you an interview with the star because he’s only out here for 7 quick weeks, can you hook us up?” Um, yes, I can…. To one of those rusty old oil heaters in my basement.

In all seriousness, we love you guys. We love most of the studios, too. We have wonderful relationships – and always have (bar one, maybe two). There’s actually a lot of love here. We all remain clothed, but through the magic of fire optic cables, we occasionally press up against each other. It’s the only way to go.
A week doesn’t go by that we don’t have at least five to six interviews lined up – be it by phone, in person or via the small screen that hangs from my home theater (Next week is a huge week for interviews – I’m predicting I’ll be more hoarse than Mr Ed by Sunday!)
And speaking of, big howdy to Michael from Roadshow – whom I believe has jumped aboard the Moviehole wagon and made us a regular read on his travels! Good to have you reading our words pal. Oh, and thanks for the awesome selection of “Dark Knight” stuff you sent over – I’m wearing the Two-Face undies as we speak!
I should also say thanks to our friends at Sony for the one-of-a-kind “Terminator Salvation” shirt they couriered over yesterday Its beautiful. I feel like I’m dogging Arnold for wearing it – but hey, everyone for themselves…isn’t that right, clonetrooper?

I’m near finished my icy cold beer [cough, cough], I mean, coffee, here, and you know what happens when I reach the bottom (yes, that’s right, I get boring), so let’s call it a night.

Night, Edgar (that’s the name of my computer. We live together in Electric Dreams).

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Moviehole Mailbag

Hey Clint, I run this little website called [x]. We get about a million hits per month. Why is it that we can’t get interviews the same way you guys can? Why will Robert Downey Jr and Kiefer Sutherland talk to Moviehole but not us? We have reviews and stuff too. – Jonas
Hey Jonas, thanks for your email. I hate to sound arrogant, but unfortunately, there’s a billion other movie sites out there that get about a million hits too. When we first started we were generating about that, and no, we couldn’t get interviews like we do now either. You’ll find that most studios, and ad brokers for that matter, will take a lot more notice of you when you get to about the 2-3 million – 3 million definitely – hits a month mark. It takes time buddy. As I said, it took us years to generate that kind of traffic. I get a lot of emails from webmasters like yourselves asking how they can get more play from the studios and all I can say is, keep plugging away, keep giving people a reason to visit your site, and it will happen. Good luck!

Hey Bro, did any of the Corey’s read your Caffeinated Clint column last week. If so, what did they think? – Ben
Hey Ben, Yes Feldman tells me he read it and said it made him feel all warm and fuzzy inside. We serve to please here.

When is the movie “Big Stan” coming out in Australia? – Rik
Hey Rik, “Big Stan” has just been scheduled for a September release in Australia through Hoyts. I was lucky enough to catch an early screening of the film about a month ago, and thought it was a lot of fun.

You manage Chris Showerman, the guy from “George of the Jungle 2″? – Jules
Hey, yes I do. Every time he cuts someone’s lawn, I get 10%.

You mother fuckas! you so mean! not of fairness! – Satan
Time to get off your sister, she can’t breathe loser.

hey clint holden here any way i just found out that they were going to heather leger as mad max any way who will they get for mad max 4 any way let me know who they get any way talk latter holden write me back – Holden
Hey! Holden’s back! How are ya!? Heather Leger? She new?

Clint, why do we only read about Tyrees or Ice Cube going up for the Mr.T role of BA BARACUS and not what action star will play HANNIBAL? Would have been nice to see Mel get it…or even Willis but he fell out to do CAIN & LYNCH…so who?…Stallone isn’t doing anything right now…humm… – Ab King
Ab, I seriously can’t see Sylvester Stallone playing Hannibal in “The A-Team” movie, sorry pal. I’ll see what I can find out though as to who they’re looking at for the role (Last I heard they were still talking about Gibson).

Any news on “Heroes”? What’s coming up next season? – Jessica
Hey Jessica. I can tell you one thing – you won’t see a lot of Bob Bishop (Stephen Tobolowsky) on his feet this season. Tobolowsky broke his neck horse riding in Iceland last month and as a consequence has had to film all his “Heroes” scenes sitting in a chair. The way they do this is – the producers remove his neck brace for whatever amount of time it takes for him to film his scene, then they quickly put it back on once they’ve got what they want. The man has been in a lot of pain. Proves how committed he is to his craft though – there’s no stopping the bothersome Groundhog Day guy!

I love a good smart-ass. When do you get off work? – Jac.
Shit I hope you’re not a male ‘Jac’.

Hey! Thanks for the article on The Corey’s! They rock -they still rock! Have you ever seen Feldman in concert? He is great! – Toni
Hi Toni, nope, haven’t seen the Felddog in concert, but he did send me one of his CDs at one stage – he’s pretty good, yeah. I believe his band, The Truth Movement, are currently in the studio recording their second album. Wonder whether there will be a song dedicated to Haim on there?

Hey Clint, Keep up the good work! Always a good read! – Richard J. Grieco
Oh god, now I really feel bad for that crack I made about you last week. Shit, I made one this week too didn’t I? Hopefully you’ve a sense of humour buddy? Loved you in “Booker”!

Hey Clint, I picked up a streetpress in Sydney called Red Carpet Injection – just a small mini booklet of reviews, interviews and so on. I even entered some of the competitions in it. You do the magazine on the side? I saw your name as a staff member? – Briony
Hi Briony, yep, I’m assistant editor of that little publication. Always looking for cover models. Can’t guarantee there will be film in the camera when we shoot you though.

Hi-Ho Guyz, Any idea who will play Van Wilder in the prequel movie? – John
They’ve cast Jonathan Bennett, the young lad from “Mean Girls”, as young Wilder. The film will also feature Kristin Cavallari from “Laguna Beach”, Kurt Fuller (Robert Lindsey from “Alias”) and Steve Talley, who appeared in the last couple of “American Pie” movies. Look for it on DVD next year.

Your daughter is gorgeous! spunky as hell! – Samantha
Yep, takes after her dad! She even belches like him!

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Last but not least, may I plug a terrific new documentary that’ll be unspooled at Toronto?

The 33rd Toronto International Film Festival will screen the World Premiere of “Yes Madam, Sir”, a compelling feature-length documentary about the extraordinary life of India’s first female police officer, Kiran Bedi, known to many as the modern day Gandhi.

Written, directed and photographed solely by Australian filmmaker Megan Doneman, filmed over  six years, edited from 500 hours of footage, and often involving perilous international travel and situations.

Academy Award winning actor Helen Mirren (“The Queen”) lends her commanding voice as narrator of the film, and acclaimed composer Nathan Larson (2004 Cannes Film Festival winner for “The Woodsman”) provides the score.

Click here for more info

Thanks to the lurrrrvely ‘Erin Jameson’ for the heads up!