Dan Silver: Is there an end-of-the-year award for Best Tagline to a film? If there is, I’d like to nominate the one from Bad Ass — “He’s Mean. He’s Angry. He’s Old.” Forget the underwhelming Machete, this appears to be the film the real-life badass, Danny Trejo, was born to make. What’s more, the film is a fictionalized account of actual events. There’s no keeping me away from this movie.
Rembert Browne: There is something extremely intriguing about a film starring three 60-somethings. It's sort of like It's Complicated but violent, not funny, not sexy in the slightest, and unless I missed something in the trailer, not about a love triangle. How sweet would it be if it were, though? You can't tell me a film about Danny Trejo and Charles S. Dutton fighting for the attention of Hellboy wouldn't be an instant classic. Easy Oscar.
Yesterday, the 2011 Black List — the annual collection of the best unproduced Hollywood screenplays, as voted on by over 300 film execs — dropped. And the winner, with a whopping 133 votes, is: Graham Moore’s The Imitation Game … which is already being made into a movie. A biopic of brilliant and persecuted World War II cryptographer Alan Turing, it was picked up Warner Bros. in October as a possible starring vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio. In fact, a lot of these titles are already in some stage of production, including Arash Amel’s Grace of Monaco, Lauryn Kahn’s He’s Fucking Perfect, and Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained (to make the list, the scripts just can’t be hitting theaters in 2011). And what about the rest of the batch? Are these unproduced gems just too out-there, too — forward thinking, for Hollywood? Are they oddball genre mashups? Radical visual experiments? A bold new future in mainstream American storytelling?
I produce movies for a living, which used to be the best job in the history of jobs. Not the actual “making them” part, but more importantly the “talking about them” part. Everywhere I went, I was the belle of the ball. I'd go to a benefit for cancer research and be surrounded by the smartest doctors in the world; once word got out about my occupation, I’d be inundated with fawning questions — "What’s Julia Roberts like?" "Is your life like Entourage?" "Is that your real hair?" (For those keeping score at home, the answers are "smart and rich," "no," and "yes.") Everyone told me about the last great film they’d seen, and like any good producer I’d immediately take credit for their wonderful experience. It didn’t matter if I’d actually been a part of the film or had just merely seen it, I shared in the acclaim because I was a card-carrying member of that small and illustrious club. It was a glorious time, and I reveled in every minute of it.