March 31, 2005

Paul Giamatti to star in new M. Night film

You got your chocolate in my hackwork! You got your hackwork in my chocolate!

This is all-or-nothing. Either it's Giamatti's first Oscar nom, or his first truly awful performance. Also sprach FanBoy.

One more thing: The plot sounds like it could be a remake of Night Tide, which is i-ight in my book. Just wish Night Moves wouldn't churn out these scripts so fast -- The Sixth Sense worked because it was clear that years of effort went into it.

(Confidential to Matt: I'm not really a knife guy. More of a purple nurpler.)

Posted by kza at 10:20 AM | Comments (8)

March 21, 2005

Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974, Brian Clemens)

Contrary to his entry in IMDB, the World's Phoniest Bat does not appear in this film. Rather, the part of "Bat" is played by his cousin, the World's Most Immobile Bat. Born with rigiditis, a disease that only afflicts sentient bat puppets, TWMIB admired his cousin's success in the film industry, and yearned to live what he thought was his cousin's glamorous Hollywood lifestyle. Although TWMIB found a few paying jobs -- Captain Kronos was his most high-profile appearance -- there simply wasn't demand for a bat that had to be held in place by the "victim" to simulate a vicious attack, and TWMIB soon retired from the industry. He currently runs a BP station in Medford, Oregon. Ironically, he is unable to pump your gas.

Posted by kza at 10:35 AM | Comments (1)

March 16, 2005

Project Greenlight 3 Begins

Just some notes on last night's premiere of Project Greenlight 3. SPOILERS, of course, if that kind of thing really applies to this show.

(Some background, for those that don't know: Martin and I entered the screenplay portion of the Project Greenlight contest last year (over a year ago, actually -- wow.) Anyway, long story short: we made the Top 100 scripts, but not the Top 5. Those interested in reading about the whole saga can go here, and start at the bottom.)

So, if I was ever the least bit distraught over not winning Tha Big Prize, that's completely gone. Something I felt from watching the previous two seasons, and was verified last night, was that the decisions that go into choosing a winner (both script and director) are so utterly random, so lacking in common sense, that it's impossible to feel overlooked. I can't imagine any scenario where Martin and I would be the beneficiary of the fucked-up thinking that goes into choosing a winner. Although I think Martin and I should continue to enter contests (even a Project Greenlight 4, should it come to pass), we should do it because it's fun, not because we think it might be an entry-level ticket to something. (Not that we necessarily thought this, but it bears repeating.) Any success is going to be built from the bottom up with out own hands; we aren't going to win a Hollywood lottery, and I don't know that I really want to.

So, the winning script was something called Feast, which looks like Jeepers Creepers 3 to me. (I actually liked the first Jeepers, so that's not neccessarily pejorative.) However, it looked like 90% of the decision-makers (Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Wes Craven, that Chris guy who yells a lot, and producers from Dimension Films) thought it was mediocre at best, crap at worst. None of the actors and directors at the table -- the artistic types -- wanted the script, but the folks from Dimension pretty much rammed their first choice through, because they could market it. No other reason, really. They didn't really think it was well-written or a very good story, simply that it was marketable. We've all seen depictions of how Hollywood works, what with the slick salesmen in executive positions and the shallow thought-processes and the anything-for-a-buck mentality; but to see it play out in reality was chilling.

Then came the second half of the show, where they chose the director. It was basically between two guys, John Gulager and some guy whose name I don't remember (guess who won). John Gulager is now my new hero. Here's a guy, 46 years old, fat, nerdy, socially inept, introverted, lacking self-confidence, but not without some talent behind the camera. His personal bio video is narrated like an film noir where the detective knows he's going to be dead by the end of the film. It reeks of fatalism and disappointment. He gives, as they say on the show, "the worst job interview ever". (I'm sure it wasn't that bad, but the editing of this part makes it look like an outtake from The Office.) He's also the son of Clu "Burt from Return of the Living Dead" Gulager, which earns him a bunch of goodwill points from Yours Truly. The other guy talks fast, puts on a good show, makes the folks laugh and feel comfortable. But Gulager wins. The guy who really deserved to win, IMO, gets the job. Seems like a repudiation of what I said in the previous paragraph, doesn't it? Maybe the Hollywood way does make the right choices every now and again.

But, despite the vote of confidence, what really seemed to happen was that the artistic contigent decided to screw the producer contingent after the script fiasco. The producers didn't like Gulager, didn't think they could communicate with him. (They may be right.) But it was Matt Damon's "fuck you" parting gift. Important decisions made for the kookiest of reasons. Why do I want to get involved in this, again?

Anyway, this season looks to be even more interesting than the previous ones, and who knows? They may even get a halfway decent flick out of it. Go get 'em Gulager! Give 'em hell! Just don't turn into an asshole, okay?

Posted by kza at 10:21 AM | Comments (5)