Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Who's making a porno with Kevin Smith?

There are few directors more in need of a new crowd than Kevin Smith (and some would say he needs a new writer and director, but not me.)

He's currently at work on two flicks, one really odd horror movie with a baddie modeled on the Rev. Fred Phelps to be called "Red State," and much more promising, something called "Zack and Miri Make a Porno." In what will hopefully turn out just as crude and juvenile as the title promises, it's about two friends in their 30s who, finding themselves at a crossroads, decide to get into the porn business.

Rosario Dawson has, perhaps understandably, turned her back on this (and joined Shia LaBoeuf and others in DJ Caruso's "Eagle Eye"), but it seems Mr. Smith may be closing in on his Zack (and, since he wants to wrap up filming by the end of this year, that would probably be a step in the right direction.)

A "reliable source" at Aintitcool who calls himself "Big J" (as if that doesn't wipe out any credibility at the outset) wrote in to say that the role would be taken by none other than Michael Bluth himself, Jason Bateman.

I could definitely see this working. Bateman's Bluth worked so well because he was constantly trying to play the straight man even though he was just as crazy as anyone in the "Arrested Development" Bluth clan. He would be great as a dude likewise drawn into the tawdry world of Kevin Smith.

Another name I've heard out there however, and I'd give credit for this if I could just remember where I saw it, intrigues me even more. Jay Baruchel. That name probably means nothing to 90 percent of the world, but he's a member of the Judd Apatow clique who is just one very funny dude.

He earned entry into this somehow-now-elite cadre by starring in the second of Apatow's one-season-only TV shows, "Undeclared." Though never nearly as good as the flawless "Freaks and Geeks," it's still a very funny look at college life, and Baruchel put up with all kinds of shenanigans as the main star. More recently, he was one of Seth Rogen's pothead buddies in "Knocked Up."

Once Mr. Smith finds a Zack, of course, he'll need a Miri. Knowing him, if he does indeed land Jason Bateman, he'll probably try and get sister Justine too just for the novelty of it. Assuming that won't come to pass, all we really know now is it will have to be a fresh face. Any suggestions?

Demko's DVD shelf

The lock of the week was an easy pick since "The Lookout" is easily one of my favorite movies of 2007.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (and thankfully not French Stewart!) has found a surprisingly solid acting career after the cesspool that was "Third Rock from the Sun." Before "Brick," easily one of the best movies of 2005, he starred in "Mysterious Skin," which I rented on the recommendation of several readers of this site and thoroughly enjoyed.

"The Lookout," while not as good as either of these, is still an entertaining little flick. JGL plays a former star high-school athlete who, after suffering a severe head injury in a car crash, has serious memory problems and now works the overnight shift as the cleaning man at a bank. He's paired with a blind man played by Jeff Daniels (huzzah!) for living conditions, and the movie's at its best when they're playing off each other. JGL's character gets roped into a plot to rob the bank, becoming the titular "Lookout," and you even get lovely Isla Fisher in the bargain too, so what's not to like? Just rent it already.

Best movie I haven't seen: This one definitely goes to David Lynch's "Inland Empire," one of the many movies that are simply too good to ever play in my little corner of the world. I'll be seeing this very soon.

Two classics get grand treatment: If you don't own either Jim Henson's "Labyrinth" or Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver," there are "special editions" of each out today. The "Taxi Driver" set in particular seems to be a grand affair, with three documentaries and at least three more featurettes in the two-disc set.

Fun with pictures

As far as I know, this image, courtesy of the great Froggy film site Cinempire.com, is the first still from Tim Burton's take on Sweeney Todd, coming for Christmas.

It looks fantastic, and set me to thinking: Why do I have such mixed feelings toward Mr. Burton? I think it must be solely based on his remakes, which just suck eggs, because I've liked almost all of his original movies immensely (if you haven't seen "Big Fish," do so immediately.) I'm definitely getting psyched for Sweeney Todd, and this creepy shot of Johnny Depp and Bellatrix LeStrange certainly does nothing to change that.


Another flick I'm definitely jazzed to see later this year is David Cronenberg's "Eastern Promises." Opening Sept. 14, it stars Viggo Mortensen as a tough guy for one of London's most notorious organized crime families. His life is changed after he meets a midwife, played by Naomi Watts, who finds herself unwittingly in the middle of some kind of sinister scheme involving the family he works for.

Personally, I prefer Mr. Cronenberg when he works more intimately with the human psyche (especially with "Spider," my favorite flick from both Cronenberg and Ralph Fiennes), but I'll follow him just about anywhere at this point. This should be a first-rate thriller, so enjoy the rather sinister poster and one pic below. You can find tons more pics here at Comingsoon.net. Peace out.


17 comments:

jeremy said...

Yeah, that Joseph Gordon Levitt's turning out to be quite the actor. I'm really looking forward to (finally) getting to watch The Lookout. It came and went here lickity-split.
Know what I'm even more excited about? Amazon's Unbox--I surf for movies all night at work and download the ones I want directly to my Tivo. Then, when I get home from work in the morning, the movie's waiting for me. Do you know how much this simplifies my life?
Now Netflix brings me all my classics, plus ones to watch on-demand at work, and now Amazon filling out my impulsive, "Gosh, I wanna watch that!" I'm in movie heaven. On my birthday I calculated how many movies I'd seen. Over 5,000 (finally)!! What number are you up to?

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm not familiar with that Amazon function, Jeremy ... As far as getting movies goes, I'm still on the most basic level of Netflix, getting them three at a time in the mail ... I think I'll stick with that for now, but you never know what the future holds

kbradsher said...

I'm looking forward to the new Kevin Smith movie(s) almost as much as I look forward to reading about them being made over at http://www.silentbobspeaks.com/

I just discovered your blog through Macon.com, and it's good to see that you are a fan of Kevin Smith. There just don't seem to be enough of us in middle Georgia! I was one of maybe a dozen people at the first screening of "Clerks 2" at the Galleria in Centerville, I would like to have seen more.

Having been a fan of movies since that little thing called "Star Wars" and a longtime theater projectionist(at one time Westgate in Macon, now Parkway in WR.) I'll now be a regular reader of your column.

Thanks,
KevinBe

Reel Fanatic said...

Welcome, KevinBe ... as you'll come to find as you read this, I am far more obsessed with movies than any healthy person should be ... Like you, I was one of no more than five or so people when I went to see Clerks 2 at the AmStar 16, now the Grand, here in Macon, but everyone in the audience was just laughing out loud and thoroughly enjoying themselves

Eric said...

Have you ever seen The First Nudie Musical 1976? Tremendously amusing. Basicly the son of a studio owner must make pornography to prevent forecloser on the studio. They make a musical.
The dancing dildos in the pitch session are worth the price of admission

Reel Fanatic said...

I have to confess that I haven't seen that one, Eric, but I will very soon if I can get my hands on it from Netflix or another source ... the words "dancing dildos" are enough to get me hooked!

Eric said...

Yeah it stars Cindy (Shirley) Williams and Ron Howard has a bit role as an auditioning actor.
I just checked Netflix and no such luck. It really is full of industry in jokes. and boobs lots of boobs which in and of itself is not that big of a deal but for that it comes from the Happy Days, Laverne and Shirly crowd.

* (asterisk) said...

Glad you hooked yourself up with Mysterious Skin (although not sure "enjoyed" is quite the right word).

I missed out on Inland Empire too. Although it did make a belated visit to a cinema about 20 miles from me, Wife is so down on DL that I spared her this one (she's been a sport with others, but this seemed just a Lynch too far). I'll get my DVD in the next few days, though.

Marina said...

I'm really looking forward to picking up the SE of "Taxi Driver". I've been holding off on buying this for some time and now is as good a time as any to pick it up!

That "Sweeny Todd" picture is really excellent. I'm looking forward to seeing the trailer.

Happy to see Cronenberg back. This trailer looks fantastic and I love the poster to boot.

Reel Fanatic said...

It sounds like a "Lynch too far" for most of the world, Mr. Asterisk, and I have a feeling that it will be best watched at home, so if I get tired of Lynch just starts to lose me in his dreamscape I can switch to something else and revisit it later

Mercurie said...

I've been waiting for the Labyrinth special edition for what seems like ages.

With any luck Burton's Sweeny Todd will be more like Big Fish and less like Planet of the Apes. At the very least, he has some great source material to draw upon with this one.

Jonathan said...

How can you mention the Special Edition of "Labyrinth" (Which is a brilliant film) and leave out the release this week of a special edition of "The Dark Crystal;" Jim Henson's other fantasy/puppet masterpiece? I would take "Taxi Driver" over either of these, but I thought I would throw that one out there as well. Can't wait to finally watch "The Lookout." I also picked up "Fracture" since I'm a mystery lover and most people have told me it would be right up my alley.

Reel Fanatic said...

That is indeed a major sin on my part, Jonathan, so thanks for rectifying ... I love everything Jim Henson ever did!

Chris said...

I'm very interested to see what you feel about Inland Empire when you finally get to see it. I like Lynch a lot but that movie was three hours of boring nonsense to me. I'm kind of surprised that it didn't make it at least one week to a theatre near you since the movie was held over at the IFC Center here in NY for some time, playing to sold out crowds. It obviously connected with quite a few people, but I'm not in that boat.

Reel Fanatic said...

I'm worried that I'm going to have the same reaction as you, Chris, but since I've liked just about everything Lynch has done so far, I definitely have to take the chance .. I'll most likely see it Sunday

Neel Mehta said...

Not terribly keen on the concept of Zack and Miri Make a Porno -- I just don't see how anyone can give a movie like that a hot injection of heart -- but the idea of Jason Bateman and Kevin Smith in the same room intrigues me.

And you need a new picture of Isla Fisher. That's like her worst one ever.

Reel Fanatic said...

You're certainly right about that, Neel ... She's certainly looked a lot better than that, and there are many worse things I can think of doing than looking for a new one