When I wrote about George Lucas last year, I called up J.J. Abrams. There wasn’t a hint that Abrams was going to be directing the next Star Wars movie, as The Wrap reported yesterday. There wasn’t even that much of known relationship between Abrams and Lucas. In the movie world, Lucas doesn’t do hands-on, Spielbergian mentorships. But, as Abrams explained, he’d recently sat at Lucas’s knee, like Luke with Yoda, and had learned from the master.
Gangster Squad makes its long-delayed debut this week, and the Grantland staff couldn't help but notice that, from the looks of the trailers, at least, this film seems to feature a noticeable excess of hats. This places it in an important, rarefied echelon of headgear-oriented motion pictures, which we will now salute in this explosive first installment of the 2013 YouTube Hall of Fame.
Silver: Why is my excitement for this at The Hobbit and new episodes of Arrested Development levels? Because, in my opinion, writer/director Martin McDonagh is as close to a literary savant as my generation has ever had. He’s a playwright turned filmmaker whose first feature, In Bruges, was nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar. With that film, he skillfully appropriated his highly engaging, engrossing, and often disturbing style and humor from the stage with such plays as The Leenane Trilogy, The Aran Islands Trilogy, The Pillowman, and A Behanding in Spokane. And similar to In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths seems like it will ground itself in a simple genre (Bruges is to British Gangster Flick as Psychopaths is to Caper Comedy), but will inevitably play within that construct by utilizing multiple dramatic forms and tools to create a film that is truly distinctive. Onstage or onscreen, actors like Farrell, Rockwell, and Walken have all proven themselves to be as comfortable with McDonagh’s method, and are to his work as William H. Macy and Rebecca Pidgeon are to David Mamet’s. And if none of this has convinced you that Seven Psychopaths is worth seeing, will the promise of Tom Waits casually sitting on a brick fence petting a rabbit do it for you?