Ferris Bueller II?

logo22At least someone in Hollywood gets it — despite the fact that, according to Moviehole.com, a script has been written for a sequel to the 1980s, John Hughes-lovechild “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” entitled Ferris Bueller 2: Another Day Off,” star Matthew Broderick has declined any involvement or interest in the project.

He swiftly put to rest any suspicions that he may want to eventually return to the character that — to put it bluntly — made him a moviestar.

“I can’t play young rebellious guys anymore,” Broderick sighed.

And, it goes without saying, without Broderick, Ferris Bueller simply 165036__ferris_ldoesn’t exist. Phew. Yes, readers, I am very relieved by this news. For one, the script has been bounced around Hollywood for quite some time now, meaning that, with a franchise as inherently bankable as “Ferris Bueller,” whatever is written for Bueller’s “other day off” must be pretty bad. No one’s picking it up, and Broderick won’t even read it at all. Chalk one up for respecting history, because all a sequel would do is jeopardize  the integrity of the original, one of the most classic films to come out of the 80s.

For those of you who have read Movie Chutzpah from the start — which I’m sure isn’t any of you since I took a four-month break from this because of an insanely busy semester at college — you’ll know that I’ve maintained an avid stance against films like this. “Indiana Jones,” “Rocky,” and other classic movies that are being retreated more than 20 years later are basically a terrible idea. This movies have become a part of our popular culture — everyone knows Ferris Bueller, just as they all know Indiana Jones and Rocky, and to put these characters into regurgitated and unoriginal plotlines is to soften the power that they have over our childhood and imagination.

So, bravo Broderick — a Ferris Bueller sequel would be an easy paycheck fro him to collect, really. Just show up in a leopard-print vest, do a couple of quirky monologues and sing a Beatles tune, and he’d have it. But, as we all know, it’s best for everyone — especially the fans of the original — if Ferris is just left alone. No one wants to see the most famous High School slacker ever 20 years later … it would just be depressing.

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December 22, 2008 at 1:51 pm 1 comment

Vin Diesel to direct Fast and Furious prequel

I’ll admit it — I liked the first installment of “The Fast and The Furious.” It was fun for what it was: a mindless summer blockbuster. Then “2 Fast 2 Furious” and “Tokyo Drift” really set the bar low — like, really low — for the potential, now inevitable, fourth movie in the series.

And with the news that No. 4 is on its way, and that Tyrese will not be reprising his role, Vin Diesel has come out to state that he has been brought on to direct a 20-minute prequel to the upcoming movie. The film will — speculatively — fill in the gaps of what Vin Diesel character, who was absent in the second and third movies, has been doing since we last saw him oh so many years ago.This coming from Coming Soon:

Diesel will star in the prequel along with Michelle Rodriguez reprising her role as Letty and Sung Kang returning as Han. Diesel didn’t say how the prequel would premiere; it could be on a DVD, online, TV, etc.

I don’t even think this news deserves the effort I would need to put in to rant about it — there’s no way I’m paying money to see a fourth “Fast and Furious,” let alone a short film directed by Diesel himself.

August 19, 2008 at 4:09 pm 2 comments

Worst Watchmen news ever

So, a couple of days ago — when I posted a picture of what Rorschach will look like under the mask in the upcoming “Watchmen” adaptation — I revealed that I had broken down and read the comic book, even though I’ve never enjoyed comics. But I’m sure hardcore “Watchmen” fans aren’t surprised to find out that I loved the book and immediately began counting down the days until the movie came out.

Now comes news that, if FOX has their way, the movie will never come out.

FOX has sued Warner Brothers, the film’s producer and eventual distributer, over the rights to the “Watchmen” property, saying they’ve owned the right to make an adaption all along. A lot of internet wizards and movie geeks such as myself dismissed the lawsuit as silly and without base when the news first broke that FOX was attacking Warner Bros, just waiting until the thing was thrown out of court. But yesterday, a judge took the case a little more seriously, denying Warner Bro’s motion to dismiss the case. Uh oh.

Very little was divulged about the case, and neither party wants to comment on “ongoing litigation,” so us fans are left to twiddle our thumbs and hope for the best. But here’s the shitty party — FOX says they’re not looking for a monetary compensation or to become a profit participant of the film. They want to see that Zack Snyder’s “Watchmen” never gets released. Ever.

It doesn’t make any sense that FOX wouldn’t want this film released. True, they have the rights to produce their own “Watchmen,” and they would make tons and tons of money. But guess what? They’d have to front tons and tons of production-cost money, casting money, marketing money and whatever else production companies have to spend to get movies made. Here, the movie’s already made, Warner Brothers have already put all the money up front, and FOX stands to gain huge amounts of money from the film’s release — money that will all be straight-up profit, since they didn’t have to pay anything to get the flick made.

Maybe it’s just the fact that I’m upset at the prospect of this version of “Watchmen” never getting released. Maybe I’m just not seeing the advantage that FOX sees of blocking this film’s release. But, to me, this looks like a MASSIVE lose-lose-lose (Warner Bros, FOX and “Watchmen” fans everywhere) for everyone involved.

Variety has a little explanation about the origins of the film’s copyright history:

At the heart of Fox’s suit, filed in February, is the contention that it never ceded rights to the property. And according to the federal Judge Gary Allen Feess, Fox retained distribution rights to the graphic novel penned by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons through a 1991 claim. Furthermore, Feess appears to agree that under a 1994 turnaround deal with producer Larry Gordon, Gordon acquired an option to acquire Fox’s remaining interest in “Watchmen,” which was never exercised, thereby leaving Fox with its rights under the 1994 agreement.

The film has been in development hell since 1994, with many people saying it was impossible to bring a faithful adaption to screen. So, with so many people taking an ill-fated stab at a “Watchmen” movie, I can see where the murkiness as to who owns the rights came from.

I really don’t know much about the legal side of things. I wish I going give you some expert analysis about the goings on in the court room, but you and me both are just going to have to wait and see on this one.

August 19, 2008 at 1:26 pm Leave a comment

Last-ever Heath Ledger movie’s distribution woes

It’s safe to say that, after “The Dark Knight’s” ridiculous month-long run, $460 million draw, that Heath Ledger’s passing and the subsequent buzz about this amazing performance as The Joker was one of the major reasons the general public clamored over this movie so much, especially in its first record-setting weekend. Terry Gilliam, the director of such quirky films as “Brazil,” “Twelve Monkeys” and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” attacked Warner Brothers for taking advantage of Ledger’s death during the marketing and viral campaigns — a stance that I adamantly disagree with.

Well, distribution companies around the U.S. are trying to figure out how they can use Ledger’s involvement in Gilliam’s newest flick, “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” to their advantage in much the same way that Gilliam accused “The Dark Knight” of doing. But Hollywood execs are grappling with one dilemma — no, not the moral dilemma of using Ledger’s death to their advantage. The dilemma of having Ledger’s very bankable name attached to a Gilliam film, a steadfastly un-bankable director.

Gilliam hasn’t seen any financial success since 1995, when his time traveling sci-fi  adventure, “Twelve Monkeys” played well despite its odd storyline. Studio execs know this, and they are iffy about picking up a Gilliam film to distribute — especially one that comes with a $20 million production receipt — even if they have the option to use Ledger’s last performance as a viable marketing tool. This coming from The Hollywood Reporter:

“In this market, unless I have a reason to think a movie like this is going to be a slam dunk I’m not going to take a flyer on it, even with Heath Ledger,” one distribution executive said. One specialty exec added few execs at his company had been tracking it.”

Right now, several companies have yet to even see clips from the film, let alone consider distributing it. But Lionsgate, the company responsible for international distribution, is seriously considering picking it up in the U.S. as well.

Even with Gilliam at the helm and the weird plot about “parallel worlds, a theater troupe and a devil-dealing 1,000-year-old doctor,” I think this movie has a lot of marketing potential. Not only do they have Ledger’s last-ever acting performance, but in the wake of his death, three hugely popular actors, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law, stepped up to fill in the scenes he had yet to shoot after a rewrite to allow the character to shape-shift.

Someone will eventually take a chance on this off-the-wall movie, and I’d be willing to bet that that company will not regret the decision. If they market it tastefully and correctly, people will go to see Ledger and the performances of the three actors that replaced him. But, even facing these marketing opportunities, industry wizards will continue to be skeptical of Gilliam — but all it takes is one comapany to bite:

Said one longtime distribution guru: “For all the elements in this film, it is a Terry Gilliam picture, and as much as you want a movie of his to be good, you have to be careful.”

August 18, 2008 at 11:10 am 2 comments

The Dark Knight finally falls from box office top spot

“The Dark Knight”  finally loosened its iron fist on the domestic box office this weekend. After crushing all opening weekend, the subsequently beating “Step Brothers,” “The Mummy 3” and “Pineapple Express” in their respective opening weekends, the latest and hands-down greatest bat-flick has finally slowed its ridiculous money grabbing — well, slowed it to the tune of a $16.8 million haul, a good total box office draw for some smaller flicks.

But alas, “Tropic Thunder,” the second R-rated, action-based comedy to draw well at the box office in as many weeks, picked up another $26 million this weekend after opening on Wednesday to finally strip “The Dark Knight” of that No. 1 spot. “Thunder” has taken in $37 million in its five days so far. It’s a great draw for not only an R-rated comedy (which generally don’t do well in theaters), but one that faced boycotts and protests from pretty much every special needs awareness groups in America. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I haven’t heard anything but good things. To be honest, I’m really glad “The Dark Knight” fell to a — from the sound of things — good movie as opposed to “Mummy 3” or “Step Brothers” or, God forbid, “The Rocker” next weekend.

Christoper Nolan’s epic crime drama with spandex didn’t go away empty handed, though. It toppled the original “Star Wars” to take the No. 2 spot on best domestic box office draw ever. Pretty good deal when it’s only been out a month.

August 17, 2008 at 2:00 pm 1 comment

Sex Drive red band trailer is freaking hilarious

It’s not everyday that a movie trailer actually makes my laugh out loud. And I definitely didn’t think today would be one of those days when I read that the red-band to a movie called “Sex Drive” had hit the interwebs. I hadn’t heard of the movie up until that point, and everything about the title screams bad teenage sex romp. But I was more than pleasantly surprised by the sneak peak. Enough of my talking it up. Just watch below:

Clark Duke, who plays that goofy sidekick in “Sex Drive,” totally steals the spotlight for the entire 30 seconds or so of screen time he gets. Duke is quickly becoming one of my favorite young comedic actors in Hollywood. I first saw him in “Clark and Michael,” and by the end of the 10-webisode season, I like him and his fiction Clark character than Michael Cera and his awkward antics.

His delivery is so spot-on, and I would be lying if I said one of the main reasons I am now pumped to see “Sex Drive” is so that I can see if Duke is up for carrying his first major movie role (he was in “Superbad” for all of five seconds, and he hasn’t been in any other flicks to my knowledge).

The Amish scene is hilarious — I love Amish humor, because let’s face it: they’re never going to know (Get it? The joke being that there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that an Amish person ever sees “Sex Drive,” what with the no technology rule n’ shit).

The jock older brother is hilarious. I thought one of the best lines in the whole trailer was “You ever watch Dateline? It’s probably a guy!” And then of course, there’s the donut mascot. I, for one, find mascots (especially ridiculous ones, like huge donuts with real-working mouths) to be hilarious. This is one of the best comedy trailers I’ve seen in a while, and I really hope the movie lives up to it. There’s definitely a lot of potential for hilarity here.

“Sex Drive” comes to a theater near you Oct. 10, 2008.

August 16, 2008 at 10:01 am Leave a comment

Anchorman in Space?

For better or worse, it looks like the ball of “Anchorman 2” has really started to roll. I remember a time when Will Ferrell said sequels weren’t his thing, but I guess when you’ve pumped out a couple of subpar movies the last couple tries, going back to the well that put you on the map sounds pretty good. I think “Anchorman” was really great for what it was — an absolutely ridiculous movie about and absolutely ridiculous person. But since Ferrell has beaten that format to death on several occasions since then, I’m very interested to see whether or not he and the rest of the “Anchorman” crew can find a way to make the sequel as fresh, quirky and hilarious as the first mustachioed flick.

But the latest news from “Anchorman 2” doesn’t exactly sounds, uhh, promising. This coming from MTV:

“Last I heard they were starting to write it and they were thinking about setting it in the eighties,” Rudd said. “[But] I know when we were shooting it [director] Adam [McKay] said if they ever did something it would have to be really weird like we were on the moon or something. I think it has to go even further if it was to work.”

“I don’t know if it’s a throwaway comment Adam McKay had made at some premiere or something. I think [he’s]’s interested in the idea. I think Will [Ferrell] is too,” Rudd told MTV News. “Certainly it was so fun to make that if they were to do another one I think we’d all be really interested in it.”

Space? Really? Part of the fun of “Anchorman” was the throwback feel of it. The clothes, the furniture, the cars, the mustaches, the technology, the phrases (“I believe it’s pronounced ‘yawgging,’ with a soft ‘J’) — everything about it was so retro. That’s what made it funny. To forget that and put the characters in a completely unfeasible situation — you know, like space, for example — would be moving beyond the ridiculous and into the absurd, and I don’t think that would be a good step for this film to take. Putting the movie in space is the equivalent of forgetting everything that made the first film so funny.

I like the idea of bringing these characters ahead a decade in the reboot. Show them in the styles and whatnot of the ’80s. That could be just as funny, and probably even more ridiculous (Can you imagine Brian Fanatana with a Flock of Seagulls haircut?). But I doubt they’ll go with this minimalist approach. The first one was so popular, and it sounds like Adam Mackay feels like he needs to top it by turning in the most ridiculous script possible.

August 15, 2008 at 7:02 pm 1 comment

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