Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A very dirty take on "Almost Famous"?

Before I get into what will be a very short report today, a few random thoughts.

As depressing as it was for me personally to watch Barack Obama get beat down pretty hard last night, I've decided that I can't blame the good people of Pennsylvania. The real culprit: Michael Moore, who gave Barack his kiss-of-death endorsement Monday night here. I love Michael Moore (though not so much his latest, "Sicko"), but I really don't see how that can possibly help.

And, secondly, though I usually get more than a little queasy when I hear of American remakes of European flicks, word surfaced of one this morning that kind of intrigues me. When I sent out a plea to readers to help me restock my Netflix queue, one of the best ideas was Patrice Leconte's "Man on the Train," suggested by always-welcome reader Ashok, if I remember correctly.

The flick, though very entertaining, is also extremely French (duh, but bear with me.) It stars two superb actors, Jean Rochefort and the rocker Johnny Hallyday, in a story about a bank robber and a retired school teacher whose paths converge and start to interchange. In saying it's very French, I mean it's extremely talky - though very witty. In the right American hands I could see this simple story working for the masses.

And while I'm not sure that director Thomas Bezucha of "The Family Stone" fame is who I would have in mind to helm this for Miramax, casting Billy Bob Thornton as the roaming bank robber - which is in the works, apparently - would be just about perfect.

But, anyways, enough about what was just supposed to be a one-sentence-or-so item and on to the real stories, both about rock 'n' roll.

Though I was mildly disappointed with "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," director Nick Stoller has wisely latched on to that flick's funniest star (sorry Mr. Segel) for a new camp Apatow comedy to be called "Get Him to the Greek," which thankfully has nothing to do with fraternity houses.

In the flick, Russell Brand, who just chewed up the screen as Alduous Snow in "FSM," will (shock!) play an out-of-control rock star, and Jonah Hill (hopefully much funnier than he was in "FSM") will play a fresh-out-of-college insurance adjuster who has to get the rocker to a gig at L.A.'s Greek Theater. As the headline to this post implies, Stoller describes the flick, which he will write and direct, as a very dirty take on "Almost Famous." In my mind, I'm already there.

Before any of that, Segel and Stoller will thankfully be bringing the world another Muppet movie. Judging from the "Dracula" finale of "FSM" I'd say these guys clearly have a love of doing silly things with puppets, so that - and hopefully "Get Him to the Greek" also - should just be tons of fun.

And finally, though I really am quite late for work already, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Ang Lee has signed on for an odd kind of music biopic that sounds like it could be very interesting.

Lee will direct and longtime collaborator James Schamus will pen the flick "Taking Woodstock," based on Elliot Tiber's memoir "Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, Concert, and a Life."

Now, though I am getting fairly old, I wasn't quite born when the real Woodstock happened in 1969, so I'll just have to take Mr. Tiber's word for it that, as he was working at his parents' motel in the Catskills, he played a role in "inadvertently setting in motion" the gargantuan hippie summit. True or not, it certainly sounds like the kind of fish story Mr. Lee could have a lot of fun with. Plus, the casting news, as it trickles out, should just be a blast.

And with that I indeed have to leave, but here's the second trailer for "Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian." Not exactly the sexiest of potential summer blockbusters, but one I hope will at least be enjoyable. Peace out.

5 comments:

Jonathan said...

"Man on the Train" is brilliant, and pretty much anything by Leconte is worth checking out. "The Girl on the Bridge" (I beleive that's the tite), "Intimate Strangers," "The Widow of St. Pierre," and "The Hairdresser's Husband" are all excellent films of his.

I think an American remake could actually be very good, and Thorton is always a great choice for just about anything, so I will definitely be keeping my eye out for this one.

Reel Fanatic said...

Of the ones you mentioned, Jonathan, I've only seen "The Widow of St. Pierre," so thanks for the recommendations!

Mercurie said...

I'm still looking forward to Segel and Stoller's Muppet film!

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