Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What in the world ever happened to Cameron Crowe?

There are really few movies in the world I loathe more than Cameron Crowe's "Elizabethtown."

Now, obviously, I'm not saying by any objective standard that that semi-autobiographical rom-com is one of the worst movies ever made, because it clearly isn't. But I only reserve the word "hate" for films from directors from whom I expect a whole lot but really let me down. Therefore, you'll probably never hear me use it for a Uwe Boll movie (unless I ever bother to see "Postal"), but there's a very good chance you might hear it this weekend for M. Night Shyamalan if he disappoints again with "The Happening."

(If I can digress just a bit about that, does anyone else find it ominous that the only way they can find to promote "The Happening" in commercials is that it will be Shyamalan's "first R-rated movie"? SFW!?!?)

OK, I'm back. My rather circuitous point here is that I used to have tons of love for Cameron Crowe. I just love movies that make heroes out of possibly the most inappropriately loathed workers in the world - journalists - so I just adore "Almost Famous," probably beyond any rational amount it might deserve. I also have tons of time for "Say Anything," and of course he also wrote the timeless "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." So I certainly welcome any news of a Cameron Crowe comeback to wash away the rather bitter taste of "Elizabethtown," even if the details so far are very scarce.

Now comes word that he's apparently completed the script for an as-yet-untitled romantic comedy and signed on to direct it for Columbia Pictures, with Reese Witherspoon and Ben Stiller set to star.

I still like Stiller quite a bit when he's not starring in movies for either himself or the Farrelly brothers, and have nothing but love for Reese, so here's hoping this will be a return to top form for the formerly-fairly-great Mr. Crowe. Stay tuned for details as soon as I get them.

What will the new "Muppet Movie" look like?

Although I found Jason Segel's "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" to be a bit of a letdown, there's no denying that that "Dracula" puppet show he put on at the end was a classic. And, luckily, the Henson folks took notice too and have handed him and bud Nick Stoller the rights to make a new "Muppet Movie."

But just what will that mean? Will it be a good, old-fashioned Muppets flick suitable for all audiences? I certainly hope so, and from what Segel recently had to say to IESB.net, he does to. Here's some of what he had to say.

IESB: Is Sam the Eagle in it?

JS: Sam the Eagle is definitely in it. Statler and Waldorf - the whole gang!

IESB: Can you tell us a little bit about the story, which way you are headed with the MUPPETS?

JS: All I can say is that we are trying to bring it back to the early '80s movies where it's not Muppets in the Sahara or Muppets Underwater. It's the Muppets getting back together to put on a show, to save the studio.

IESB: No Pigs in Space?

JS: I can't give that away.

IESB: And the hope is to stay 100% traditional with the Muppets right?

JS: Oh yeah, absolutely.

IESB: No CGI Muppets or some horseshit.

JS: No, no, no. Hopefully it will fall right in the pantheon of The Great Muppet Caper, Muppets Take Manhattan, Muppet Movie, you know, we're trying to make one of those.

IESB: You said you had written something for Charles Grodin?

JS: Yeah, a brief cameo. We'll see if he wants to do it. There are some great cameos in there.

You can read the rest of the interview here.

Well, I was already fairly confident this flick was in the right hands, but now I'm sure. Here's hoping Segel - who said he just turned in his first draft of the script to his corporate handlers - is able to follow through on this and get the movie he, and all the rest of us, really want.

A new trailer for "Valkyrie"

If I'm not mistaken (as I definitely sometimes am), Bryan Singer's "Valkyrie" was first set to hit theaters, well, right about now. For whatever reason, and hopefully none of them terribly bad, it's now been pushed back until at least Feb. 13, 2009.

Which has made it fairly easy to forget all about what should be a more-than-fairly-cool flick. Personally, I'm still eager to see it, 'cause I'm always amped for a good World War II flick (especially Spike Lee's "Miracle at St. Anna," set to drop Sept. 26), and one that features a reteaming of the "Usual Suspects" team of Singer and Christopher McQuarrie with a plot to assassinate Hitler is right up my alley.

Anyways, here's the latest trailer, which indeed looks pretty intriguing. Enjoy, and have a perfectly pleasant Tuesday. Peace out.


J. Marquis said...

I agree with you about Elizabethtown. It starts out okay but gradually just turns into the worst kind of romantic comedy mush.

Hell of a soundtrack, however.

jeremy said...

Know what I saw this weekend that I actually like, and not in an ironical way?


Really. No, really!
Some really well directed action scenes with minimal amounts of CGI. I thought I was immune to on-screen violence, but this one had me squirming.
And even though the story is a bit on the weak side, by the time Rambo came in to save the day, I was ready for it and exhilarated by it. And clocking in at 91 minutes, it knows to not overstay its welcome.
Go figure.

Reel Fanatic said...

I do have to agree with you on the soundtrack, which you were kind enough to mail to me ... If only the movie had an ounce of the soul you can find in the '70s tunes on it, it would have been fantastic

And I really can't believe you liked Rambo that much, Jeremy, but with your recommendation I'll give it a chance on DVD .. Besides, I'm a sucker for anything with Julie Benz in it!

Anonymous said...