Paul Thomas Anderson has been set for a while now on following up The Master by reuniting with Joaquin Phoenix on Inherent Vice. The project, an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's uncharacteristically breezy (well, relatively) 2009 novel, will find the former DIY-hooch aficionado Freddie Quell playing a pothead private eye named Doc Sportello. Also onboard to plug holes in the sprawling character roll call: Owen Wilson, Benicio Del Toro, Jena Malone, Martin Short, and, most recently, Reese Witherspoon, working with her Walk the Line paramour for the first time since their Oscar run. Now, add one more name to the party — and it's a big one. Exhaustive PTA fan site Cigarettes & Red Vines reports that Sean Penn is in talks for the movie.
With few exceptions, such as Friday's wide release of Best Picture nominee Zero Dark Thirty, the two-month period between the New Year and the Oscars is Hollywood's wasteland, a long stretch of bad cinematic road where it casts out its unloved misfires, its low-achieving genre fare, and, occasionally, its hidden, wolf-punching gems. We call this time "Dumpuary," and from now until the Academy's final statuette is handed out, our Dumpuary Movie Club will shine a light on the soon-to-be-forgotten films cruelly languishing in the shadow of awards season. This week: Gangster Squad.
Mark Lisanti: Let's start at the beginning. Or maybe the end. What did we just see? Because I honestly don't know. Was it The Untouchables? Was it Dick Tracy? Was it Sin City with 1929 gangsters and a full color palette? It's probably a little unfair to come right out of the gate trying to compare it to other things, but it seemed to jam its arm elbow-deep into that grab bag of influences and run with whatever it pulled out before any given scene. It wasn't bad enough to be bad-fun, and it wasn't good enough to be good-fun. It was a confusing thing that happened to a couple dozen people in a theater in downtown L.A. on an early Friday afternoon.
Bethenny Frankel & Jason Hoppy's Split: Lunching with a friend in New York, Frankel and a friend "shared a plate of octopus, spaghetti, and a solemn conversation." How does one share a plate of octopus? Four tentacles each? Bethenny "wasn't smiling or laughing. She looked serious." Not to mention, her wedding ring was off. "So much for Frankel's happily ever after." Hoppy is still wearing his wedding band, and "feels used — like she just wanted him for a baby." He plans to fight her over custody of their daughter in court. Despite constant fights, Hoppy "was hoping she was just going through a phase." Friends claim he is wearing his ring as a plot to garner public sympathy. "It's definitely an image thing. He knows he's getting photographed. He's a smart guy." Frankel wants him to move out ASAP but he has been taking his time. "He's just not sure where he wants to go." Hoppy is angry, and "feels like he gave up his career for her. He basically stopped working to support her and wants to be compensated for it."
The couple got together in 2008 after meeting at a New York club. Sources say Frankel's no-holds-barred ambition is to blame for the union's downfall. "She got obsessive about her career." Bethenny's empire of Skinnygirl products had netted her at least a hundred million, but she still wants more. She also apparently "has high expectations that no man could ever live up to." With a new talk show rolling out soon expect to hear plenty more about the split, and possibly for it to get ugly.
Scarlett Johansson Is Depressed: "She was totally out of control in Moscow recently" at a champagne brand's promo event. "She was drinking nonstop and barely slept. It was obvious that she was trying to numb her feelings." She's sad about her breakup with ad exec Nate Naylor. "She's not used to going home alone — it's a shock to her system. The fact that Ryan Reynolds is happily married while she's single again has done a number on her. And the drinking is taking its toll — she's been crying because she feels so fat." She got a lucky horseshoe tattooed on her ribcage "because she's feeling a bit unlucky." A rebound with ex-boyfriend Jared Leto quickly went south. "She thought a fling with Jared would make her feel better, but since it was only a hookup, it only made things worse." Time for Lost in Translation 2? I know I'd pay good money to watch Scarlett be sad in Russia.
Tom Cruise's Midlife Crisis: "Alone and awkward, Tom Cruise wages a futile battle against time." Tom Cruise is mortal? "He's kind of broken. He's too concerned with what people think." Tom has been hitting clubs in an attempt to get over his divorce. "Tom's trying to look cool and go out and be hip, but he just looks silly and icky. He's going through a midlife crisis." His 50th birthday may be to blame. "Midlife crises become acute if a man's life is marked by failed marriages and strained relationships." Turning 50 in itself can be "a traumatic event for many men." He hasn't seen daughter Suri in two months. "He's lost his place as a husband and father." He's also worried about his career. "Tom is very nervous about being eased out of big action star roles." That doesn't have to be an issue necessarily, as men get to play leads much longer — just look at 60-year-old Liam Neeson headlining the Taken franchise. Tom has no idea how to be single. At a London club "he looked awkward and uncomfortable. The rest of the club was dancing, but Tom was in a corner talking to a woman like it was a business meeting. As rich and famous as he is, Tom just doesn't know how to fit in." A therapist says that Cruise "has to confront that his power is shifting." NEVER!
Kim K and Kanye: The couple went to Cannes together and "caught up, wandering the streets until 7 A.M., cherishing quiet time before the inevitable flashbulb frenzy at that evening premiere of West's short film, Cruel Summer." Fighting the rumors that their relationship is just a publicity stunt, friends say they "are the real deal." Kanye is "playing for keeps. He waited for Kim. He knows they're meant to be." She comforted his anxiety over the response to his film, while "he kept brushing her cheek and kissing her." While Kanye has gotten Kim to dress "more chic, with his advice," Kim's effect is that she's "making him gentler. He isn't so intense now." Why hate? They're perfect for each other.
Sean Penn: "I am constantly embarrassed by my own personality."
Kelly Ripa: "Going to Fiji is not marriage. Going to Costco is marriage."
James Franco's Commencement Speech: "Spread your eggs. Don't like eggs? Too bad."
RazzieWatch Important Editorial Note! John Wilson has contacted RazzieWatch worried that casual readers might believe that RazzieWatch speaks with the authoritative voice of the Golden Raspberry organization! When we finished picking our jaws off the floor -- the Head RAZZberry emailed us!!! -- we of course agreed to his requests that we make it clear that RazzieWatch DOES NOT represent the Razzies administration -- we're just covering the awards, not giving them out!
Twenty-one years ago, the future Oscar-nominated director Sofia Coppola won the Golden Raspberry award for Worst Supporting Actress for her truly terrible performance in The Godfather Part III. That feat makes her one of a select few in Razzie history.
No, we don’t mean that she’s special because she’s been nominated for an Oscar and a Razzie — way too many people fall into that category to count. We mean that Coppola is one of the few actors to be nominated for a Razzie for doing a lousy job in a good movie. (Sure, Godfather III is no Godfather II, but it’s still a not-bad gangster film, nominated for seven Oscars.) The Razzies often ignore bad actors in good movies — voters, it seems, would much rather pile on to a stinker than recognize a performance, no matter how bad, in an otherwise good film.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Sean Penn are in talks for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s The Revenant. DiCaprio would play an 1820s frontiersman who, after being mauled by a bear on an expedition, hires two guys to transport him back from the wilderness; those two guys rob him and leave him for dead, and DiCaprio seeks out some solid revenge. Penn is in talks to play one of the two guys and being the ever-innovative thespian that he is, though, he's also looking into what it would take to play the bear. Grade: A- [Deadline]
Or, rather, will it be a supporting vampire, or a supporting werewolf? With its plentiful stock of wolfcake and bloodsuckers, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 is a bonanza for a category that’s often among the Razzies’ most predictable. Due to a fluke of scheduling, though, the name-brand Supporting Actors the Razzies typically love — Burt Reynolds, Marlon Wayans, Verne Troyer, Jon Voight, and (of course) Rob Schneider — have zero movies due to be released in 2011. That means some fresh Razzie meat come January 23!
Will Jackson Rathbone follow up his shocking Razzie win last year with another nomination? Might Taylor Lautner have better luck in Supporting Actor than he did in Worst Actor last year, when he lost to Ashton Kutcher? What about Kellan Lutz as vampire Emmett, the most bloodless of the bunch? Or Michael Sheen as Aro, who seems prepared to devour the scenery like so many shrieking coeds? Or Jamie Campbell Bower, who … uh … we can’t remember who “Caius” is. At any rate, they’re all front-runners, so let’s put them there.
While George C. Scott might beg to differ, the trailer for Jack and Jill, Adam Sandler’s latest high-concept excuse for him to hang out with his buddies farce has confirmed what we’ve long suspected: Comic cross-dressing is back, baby! Sure, none of the other contenders appear to reach the awesomeful heights (or lows) of Sandler’s Linda Richman: The Movie, but they certainly suggest a transv— er, trend.