Friday, December 08, 2006

"Abstinence" next for "Sunshine" crew

I'm still not sure why Tom Perrotta is such a hot property in Hollywood. Sure, I like him, but I like a lot of things that don't repeatedly get made into movies.

Granted, "Election" is one of the smartest satires ever made, but even with perky Reese on the bill it couldn't have made a ton of money. And, despite featuring stars Kate Winslet and Jennifer Connelly, it seems doubtful "Little Children" will ever play wide enough to reach my little corner of the world.

In spite of this, his latest novel, "The Abstinence Teacher," was picked up by Warner Independent Pictures even before its release, and now it's attracted the attention of "Little Miss Sunshine" directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.

The novel is set in small-town middle America, where a divorced sex-education teacher and mother of two is forced to contend with the town's more conservative groups. While fighting to keep her freedom to teach students about sex, she finds herself falling for her daughter's born-again soccer coach.

Sounds like a return to the high school halls of "Election," and with Perrotta set to adapt his novel for the screen, it could be great. And, if anyone's listening, Perrotta's "The Wishbones" would make a great little flick too.

And "Little Miss Sunshine" has simply stuck with me longer than almost any other movie in 2006. It was pleasant enough until the ending, which was just surreal but extremely entertaining. I can't wait to see what Dayton and Faris cook up next.

Will you see "Apocalypto"?

Well, it seems that Mel has survived the threatened boycott from Rob Schneider and managed to make another epic movie that will divide audiences.

I, at least, will be there to see it, even if he is a royal asshole. Why? The trailers look just miles beyond what anyone else is attempting to film today, and it should be astounding to look at. It apparently just has an epic body count as Mel uses the end of a society to pound home his theme about the importance of fathers. Not exactly a revolutionary idea, but curiousity will definitely drive me to it.

What about you? Are you gonna bother with this one? Please feel free to let me know what you think of all this.


Anonymous said...

Nope, won't be going to see it. Besides, its not like my friends and I could do what we did for Passion of the Christ--dress up like Mormons and yell, "Jesus Christ" periodically through the film. I was Elder Young, in case you were wondering.
Have a good weekend Keith!

Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks, Jeremy .. I skipped The Passion entirely out of general principle, but I'm gonna give in to this one

Vasta said...

Sorry I haven't been around much Keith, hope you're doing well. Gonna duck out again for a week or so, but before I do, let me say that Little Children may have been a good story but sadly I don't think it translated all too well for the big screen, despite the star power and the award buzz. Felt like a too-long episode of Desperate Housewives for me. Plus, Jennifer Connelly only really has a bit part, so you don't see her much.

Apocalypto was visually stunning despite the gore. In fact, I feel my mind was sufficiently blown after seeing the movie. Sure it needed some more work in many other parts, but just the visual legacy it leaves in your brain is utterly fantastic.

Oh, and I'm moving to London in January, so it looks like I'm losing my connection to all the movie screenings. =(

Reel Fanatic said...

Hello again, Vasta ... Sorry to hear about Little Children, but from everything else I had been hearing, I kind of suspected that might be the case

Pop Culture Diva said...

I agree that Mel is reaching the point of no return but the trailer for Apocalypto looks stunning. I can't help but admire him as a filmmaker. I admit some of the images were violent but they were also colorful and vivid. The energy of the movie seems hypnotic. I think I'm going to see it.

Anonymous said...

I probably will see Apocalypto. I'm not happy with Mel's drunken tirade situation but I think in time he'll be forgiven.

I've just always had a soft spot for the artists who are willing to take a chance and produce a new vision. And this film definitely looks like it falls into that category.

Anonymous said...

Well, his unfortunate remarks aside, I have to admit I've been a bit sore at Gibson ever since Braveheart, so I doubt I'll go see Apocalypto in the theatre. I might try to catch it on DVD.

Anonymous said...

As of late, I've only been watching movies on DVD. However, its not like I would ever use the line "Oooo! Mel!" to choose any movie. If I happen to see a movie by or involving him, ok. No big deal, either way.
No, I have not seen Passion. If it comes up....uh, ok.
But I need to ask you what does this mean?
"I skipped The Passion entirely out of general principle"

Reel Fanatic said...

I probably should have left that statement out, still unreal ... I just was entirely put off by the way it was marketed ... Like some others who have commented here, I don't particularly like it when Christians are to blatantly treated as a "demographic," and I got that sense most strongly from Mel's movie

Anonymous said...

I'll be checking this one out, just to see what Mel's up to now. And I think I need an "epic fix".

Anonymous said...

I never felt like Gibson especially wanted to market The Passion that way. In the US at least, the Evangelicals went crazy over it because they were so excited a top-drawer film maker had actually made a strong movie about their favorite subject. And then the cable talking heads got involved and the tickets really started selling.

Anonymous said...

I actually don't think I shall bother with Apocalypto. The Passion was mediocre, and I just feel that Mel's trying too hard to be different.

dorothy snarker said...

I'm probably going to see it for semi-professional reasons. And, the trailer does look amazing. I saw the Passion, too (but at least it was a free press screening). I hate to give Mel my cash, but art is art. You don't always have to like the artist. Plus, if I’m going to criticize, I want to know what I’m talking about.

Linda said...

Agree with Dorothy, I'll see this so I know what I'm talking about. I also like good visual film. Gibson gives me the creeps, but he makes interesting films. The exception was Passion. For all the hype, I thought it was a mess, very disappointing. I'd rather have another Lethal Weapon!

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm still planning on seeing it today, Linda, but from the reviews I've seen so far, it's apparently just an action movie (fine by me) set apart by it's stunning scenery and tons of gore ... Should be fascinating

Anonymous said...

I should have gone to see APOCALYPTO today, but instead saw BLOOD DIAMOND. It was a bit overrated.

Although, I didn't much like BRAVEHEART or THE PASSION, so I don't know if I should give Mel another chance.

Anonymous said...

No, I won't. Its not because Mel hates Jews or because Mel has turned from making Jesus movies to movies about pagans in the jungle.

I don't care enough. The movie just looks awful.


Divinity said...

Nope. Better things to do. Like root canals.

Reel Fanatic said...

I don't know why I couldn't have seen this in advance, Divinity, but a root canal indeed would have been about as pleasant as this movie turned out to be .. I'm gonna try to review it, but it's not gonna be easy

Anonymous said...

Long story short: I went to Apocalypto.

If I avoided every movie, book, or piece of music created by an artist who said and/or did loathsome things, the sum total of works of art that would pass through that filter could be counted on Mickey Mouse's right hand.

Looking forward to reading your take on it (but not until I finish mine:)!)

Later, gator.


Mazur said...

I'm not going to go, not because of Mel Gibson's political beliefs (which I certainly don't agree with), but because I feel absolutly no need to see another violent and completely unnesessary epic from an overblown filmmaker with no deep understanding whatsoever of the culture's he portarys.

His films Braveheart and The patriot were absolutely abysmal in their overwrought dialogue, acting, and completely flash-but-no-substance cinematic style (stunning camera work is only "good" when it is informed and empowered by legitimate feeling in the story and theme), but this new one looks like he's reached even further depths of masterbatory self-indulgance, eurocentric exoticism, and straight up racism (and with such stunningly ignorant racial portaryls as this film promises to offer, its hard to seperate the artist from his politics).

Suffice it to say, I will not be going anywhere near this film. However, if they rereleased Mad Max or The Road Warrior, I would be first in line. Now there were some totally unique films with actual and legitmate insight.

Reel Fanatic said...

I can unfortunately report, Mazur, but that this one did indeed deliver all you feared and more ... Not as bad at The Patriot, but definitely in the same ballpark