Watching great movies is always a joy—but knowing about great movies before your friends do, that's priceless. After bingeing last week at the Sundance Film Festival (and its underrated sidekick, Slamdance), I can now expound on the next wave of cinematic treasures months before they hit the local art-house theater, casually destroying any friends who believe their cultural knowledge to be superior to mine. Study my list of Park City favorites below, and you can be the one with insider info, like your pal who dissects high-school recruiting sites, running his mouth all day about some sophomore cornerback with 4.3 speed out of Tupelo, Mississippi, or the guy at work who's down with obscure indie bands six years before they open for Wilco.
Earlier this month, in an interview with the New York Times on the occasion of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo — in theaters right now — David Fincher had this to say: “I don’t need another serial-killer movie. But I liked the chance to make a franchise movie for adults.”
For the non-Fincher-phile (ha, just came up with that, kind of works?), Dragon Tattoo is our dude’s third serial-killer movie, after Se7en and Zodiac. And it was the latter that I had in mind for large chunks of Dragon Tattoo. For all of this movie’s charms — including, but not limited to, Rooney Mara’s badass performance; Daniel Craig’s “enviable knitwear”; Daniel Craig’s revolutionary eyeglass-wearing-technique; and at least two funny-on-purpose sex scenes — there was one thing bothering me. As the central serial-killer mystery unfolds, I couldn’t help but think: Didn’t Fincher already do this in Zodiac?
Alternate-movie-history fanatics (and Patton Oswalt fans) know that Nick Nolte came close to getting cast as Han Solo in Star Wars; yesterday the excellent Saucerful of Cobras Tumblr reminded us that Nolte was apparently short-listed for Harrison Ford's part in Blade Runner, too. (Along with Dustin Hoffman, Peter Falk, Al Pacino and... wait for it... BURT REYNOLDS.) Aw, hell. We've moved Blade Runner: The Nolte Cut to the top of our Alternate-Universe Netflix Queue-- consider yourself bumped, hypothetical version of The Shining where Robin Williams plays the Nicholson part! [Saucerful of Cobras]
I humbly accept that How To Make It In America was not a particularly good television show, if we’re going by the standards of, say, good television shows. And yet I continued to watch it until the end. That’s not so strange, I guess; that happens all the time. I am one of those people who refuses to give up on a television show I’ve started watching (well, except for Hung. Good lord, I’m not a masochist.) But what’s truly strange is that unlike with, say, Weeds — where I feel like a lone man clinging dispassionately to a ganja-laden island -- I just kind of presumed everyone else I knew was watching How To Make It In America as well, and we’d made a tacit agreement not to talk about it. And then a couple of months ago, midway through what turned out to be the show’s final season, I happened to make mention of some ridiculous plot twist to a few friends (most likely about Lake Bell’s interactions with Ziggy Sobotka) and everybody in the room regarded with me a sour grimace, as if I’d just spiked their Red Stripes with Rasta Monsta.
“You’re still watching that show?” one of them said.
Following the lead of his Tower Heist director Brett Ratner, Eddie Murphy has dropped out of his gig as host of next February's Oscars, leaving the Academy with just over three months to find a replacement. Who should they go with? We polled the Grantland staff and have a few suggestions.
Earlier today, Vulture reported that Fox is now planning two sequels to Independence Day. Original director and screenwriter Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin are wrapping up the scripts as we speak and, while there are no specific details, it is known that the movies will tell one story split into two neat, self-contained parts. (Also: aliens). Oh, and one more thing: Will Smith wants $50 million to do the movies, so Fox might just make them without him. What what what?
New York. Los Angeles. Miami. And back again. Are we discussing the migratory habits of the Video Music Awards? Or the perpetual travel itinerary of Rick Ross’s torso stylist? No, it’s the dismayingly familiar pattern of Grand Theft Auto games. Since the dawn of the series back in 1997 while the gameplay and creativity have improved by leaps, bounds, and stabbings, the geography has remained stagnant. Sure, the names are made-up (“Liberty City,” “Los Santos”) but the landmarks and the relative filth of the sidewalks make the actual identities of the city obvious and familiar. And so, the news that the upcoming Grand Theft Auto V will be set in “some version of LA” is hugely disappointing. There are so many other metro areas deserving of illicit terrorizing! Below, just some of our suggestions.
Note: Yesterday, Vulture reported that director Antoine Fuqua had left the long-in-development Tupac Shakur biopic, in part because he was having trouble finding an actor to play Shakur. Now, John Singleton is negotiating to direct and the casting search (frantically) continues.
October 13, 2011
1991 Furious Styles Lane
South Central Los Angeles, CA 90001
First off, let me say that I'm flattered. When I opened your letter, the last thing I expected was an offer to play the role of Tupac Shakur. While it is an honor to have been considered, there are a few things preventing me from truly doing the role justice.
Yesterday 20th Century Fox set Valentine’s Day 2014 as the release date for the fifth installment in the truly unkillable Die Hard franchise. While the opportunity to watch Bruce Willis wheeze his way through yet another impossible situation in A Good Day to Die Hard (for realsies) is appealing — do they make gunpowder-stained wifebeaters in size X-AARP? — the real potential of the project, at least according to Deadline.com’s Mike Fleming, lies in the co-star role. Having learned their lesson from Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s rocket-ride to superstardom after her turn as John McClane’s daughter in 2007’s Live Free or Die Hard, the producers are promising big things for whoever fills the so-far undescribed shoes of John McClane Jr. With the rebooting craze in full swing, it’s clear that Fox hopes that whoever takes on the part will have broad enough shoulders to support the future of the franchise. Since this decision is critical, we thought it’d be in everyone’s best interest, including our own, to make some helpful casting suggestions — as well as try to stop that terrible title before it’s too late.