Thursday, May 14, 2009

Who should play Frank Sinatra?

Before we get into the main orders of business, I have to say that Sports Illustrated has just conducted what has to be the most thoroughly unnecessary poll in history.

As I was driving home from work yesterday, the first thing I heard was Freddie Coleman saying "Oriole fans deserve so much better." While that statement could very easily be applied to any number of developments, in this case it was the news that Sports Illustrated had conducted a poll to determine that Peter Angelos is the worst owner in baseball.

My only thought about that was, were there really any other competitors? I mean, if the question were "worst world leader," I'd imagine Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot would all have their partisans, but in baseball there has never, ever been a worse owner than Angelos.

I'd go so far, in fact, to go ahead and call him the worst owner of all time, in any sport. A few members of my small Facebook cabal have posited that the Raiders' Al Davis is even worse, but I have to differ. Davis at least has the excuse of being certifiably insane, but Angelos is just mean, cheap and stupid, and there can't possibly be a worse combination.

Anyways, enough about that. At least we're not the Nationals. And since I haven't mentioned the fate of "Chuck" in a while, it's certainly worth an update. Although I had heard NBC wouldn't announce anything until May 19 (next Tuesday), the Hollywood Reporter seems to think that NBC will finalize its lineup by tomorrow.

I still have no idea which way this will go, but there was one promising sign this week as the network passed on "Legally Mad," a new pilot from David E. Kelley, giving it one more prime-time hour that hasn't already been swallowed up by that glutton Jay Leno. Here's one other possibly promising nugget from the Hollywood Reporter article:

And of course, Peacock is still mum on "Chuck," "Medium" and "Law & Order," although no one would be surprised to see all three return. "Chuck" is already appearing on schedules being floated.

Keep hope alive, of course, but here today it's supposed to be all about what would have to be called the ultimate harmonic convergence when it comes to music biopics: Martin Scorsese and Frank Sinatra.

It seems that Universal Pictures and Mandalay Pictures are teaming up for "Sinatra" and have brought on Scorsese to direct and produce. There's no question that it's a perfect fit, given the clear affection of each for both music and the Mafia. The big question, which Variety said has yet to be settled, is who would play Ol' Blue Eyes himself.

Now, the obvious choice would, of course, be Leonardo DiCaprio, who has played the lead in Scorsese's last four features: "Gangs of New York," "The Aviator," "The Departed" and the upcoming "Shutter Island." I'm sure Leo would be just fine in this, because he's proven to be great in anything Scorsese pitches at him, but I have one more name in mind that would be even better: James Franco.

Now, anybody who's been here probably knows that, thanks to "Freaks and Geeks" and everything he's done since, I have something bordering on an unhealthy heteromancrush on Mr. Franco, but I just can't help it. He's just that good, and he certainly has that wildness in his eyes that would be perfect for capturing Frank.

There was a time a few years ago when we were just impaled with a seemingly never-ending series of music biopics, but now that that has cooled down considerably, I'd certainly say the time is right for this, and I'll be sure to pass it on as soon as I hear anymore about the casting.

Jekyll and Hyde vs. ... Jekyll and Hyde?

When the news broke a few days ago that Keanu Reeves was gonna star in a new version of the classic Robert Louis Stevenson tale "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" I just let it pass without comment because the best I would have been able to come up with would have been meh.

But as with any odd Hollywood story, these things always come at least in pairs, as with the dueling "Sherlock Holmes" flicks. On that front, Guy Ritchie is prepping his version for a Christmas release starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, while some wing of the Apatow camp is at least beginning plans for its own, sure-to-be-much-sillier take with Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen.

Now, with Jekyll and Hyde, there's likewise rival projects in the works as well. To the already announced Reeves-starring take to be adapted by Justin Haythe ("Revolutionary Road"), you can now add one from the truly odd Abel Ferrera to star Forest Whitaker and 50 Cent, presumably as the two sides of the bad doctor's personality.

Even though Ferrera plans to "contemporize" the tale, with Forest on board my money's still on the latter project to be the much more interesting.

Trailer two-fer

And now, for anyone who's made it this far, a couple of trailers as a reward. The first is just a teaser featuring a bit of vintage Madea ("I don't want no po po at my do do") from Tyler Perry's fall flick, "I Can Do Bad All By Myself," which along with Madea is set to star Taraji P. Henson (huzzah!), Mary J. Blige and even Gladys Knight. I concede that Madea is just a thoroughly silly character, but "Madea Goes to Jail" was a surprisingly entertaining affair, and Tyler Perry has yet to make a movie that I didn't enjoy, so I'm definitely still on board.

The second trailer is for a much grander undertaking, Rob Marshall's take on "Nine," the musical based on Frederico Fellini's autobiographical "8 1/2." With Penelope Cruz, Daniel Day Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Dame Judy Dench and many more starring in what you can see from the trailer will be a truly epic production, when it finally comes out at Thanksgiving, I'll certainly say bring it on!

And finally, a parting gift

This one comes from Wilco to me to you. After it's new, self-titled album, leaked onto the Internets last night, the band decided to go ahead and let it out themselves for free streaming on their Web site. To give it a listen, click here. I've only listened to it once, and will need several more spins to offer my true opinion, but my instant verdict is that it's unsurprisingly a pop classic. Enjoy, and have a perfectly passable Thursday. Peace out.


Bob said...

Franco for Frank, eh? I like it!

Demko said...

I hear Angelos is a fan of "Chuck."

What about Bob Irsay?

Jay Leno should be sent to Guantanamo.

Reel Fanatic said...

I stand fully behind Obama's call to end torture, but if he extended it for just Jay Leno, I think he'd be nothing short of a national hero (which he already is in my book)

Ashok said...

I cannot wait to see "Nine" !!!!!!! I am not a great fan of musicals ("Once" will be the exception) but this will be the musical I would love to watch.

Reel Fanatic said...

I try hard not to be a sucker for musicals, Ashok, but done right, they get me every time too

clapboard said...

To be honest no one really.Sintara was the only one.He was at the top of the male singer polls in the Billboard and Down Beat magazines.

Alison King said...

I cannot wait to see "Nine" !!!!!!! I am not a great fan of musicals ("Once" will be the exception) but this will be the musical I would love to watch.