Friday, September 11, 2009

True wit: With the Coens and the Dude, a remake I can support

I'm really not sure there's ever been other remake news that just made me smile like this does.

The Coen brothers are now (I assume) in Toronto promoting their new flick, "A Serious Man," which will hopefully play at least wide enough to reach my little corner of the world when it opens Oct. 2, and as they're doing so the thoroughly crazy word about their next project has leaked out.

It seems that - and brace yourself for just how cool this could be - the Dude himself, Jeff Bridges, is about to sign on to play Roster Cogburn in a Coen brothers' remake of "True Grit" for Paramount.

Though a large part of me wishes the Coens would stick to their most often wildly inventive original material, this would seem to be just about a perfect fit to me. I have seen the original movie, of course, and can already see the Dude in it in my mind. And I read another novel by Charles Portis, "The Dog of the South," and can report its filled with the kind of very dark and sly wit that matches well with the Coens' view of the world.

And in other movie news out there today, if there's any director who deserves another shot at directing a fairly big budget feature flick, it's James Gunn.

Did anyone besides me see "Slither"? If you did, you know it was a delightfully twisted mix of humor and horror starring Nathan Fillion that, according to BoxOfficeMojo, made a rather astoundingly paltry $7,802,450 in the U.S. and only another $5 million or so in the rest of the world.

It also did, however, get a grade of B from the 330 or so people - including me - who bothered to rate it at BoxOfficeMojo, and if you're among the many who haven't seen it, I think it's well worth a rental.

I tell you all that to tell you this: James Gunn is finally back with something called "Super," with Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page and hopefully a pretty funny tale in tow.

Wilson plays an average guy who takes on the pseudo-superhero alter ego of the Crimson Bolt, after watching his wife (Liv Tyler) fall under the spell of a charming drug dealer. Lacking super powers, he compensates by swinging a trusty wrench. I'm laughing at that already. I have no idea what role young Ellen Page will play in all this, but I'll definitely turn out to see the final result.

I'll leave you today with couple of clips, plus, since I haven't mentioned "Where the Wild Things Are" for at least two days (a real void for me), some thoroughly cool character posters for the upcoming Spike Jonze flick. Before all that, however, enjoy this clip of Rob Lowe and Ricky Gervais in "The Invention of Lying," which Gervais wrote and directed with Matthew Robinson. Here's hoping the flick is that rare breed of flick, both a truly witty romantic comedy and a money-maker when it comes out Oct. 2. Enjoy.

And sort of finally, Warner Bros., who has clearly now decided since it found it couldn't stop Jonze from finishing "Where the Wild Things Are" they would just really get behind it instead, has released these four fantastic character posters for the Oct. 16 flick. The first one, of course, is young Max Records as our hero Max, but if you want to put a name with a face, in the others, KW will be voiced by Lauren Ambrose, Carol will be voiced by James Gandolfini and Judith will be voiced by Catherine O'Hara.

In this great profile of Jonze in the New York Times, Jonze and screenwriter Dave Eggers revealed they fleshed out the Wild Things as projections of Max's feelings. Man, I can't wait to finally see this. Enjoy.

And really finally, courtesy of and worth a plug for the great "Where the Wild Things Are" production blog of sorts We Love You So, well worth a visit if you haven't seen it, I'll leave you with this delightfully insane clip of Shel Silverstein performing on "The Johnny Cash Show." Along with being a celebrated children's author, Silverstein was also a rather prolific writer of country songs, including the two you'll hear below (the second, "Daddy What If," is just one of my favorite little sappy songs, especially as it was performed by Bobby Bare and Bobby Bare Jr.) Enjoy, and have a great weekend (and if you've never seen a Tyler Perry movie, take a chance on "Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself." I certainly will Saturday afternoon.) Peace out.


Mercurie said...

I have to agree. True Grit remade by the Coens could be very interesting. It certainly beats some of the sad remakes that have come out of Hollywood lately.

bill said...

Charles Portis does have a way with dialog, though "True Grit" is the only one of his novels I truly enjoyed. For a real treat get the audio version of "True Grit." Read by Donna Tartt, a novelist herself, the story just pops. It's a book written to be read aloud.

Reel Fanatic said...

I certainly will, Bill .. thanks for the tip ... Like I said, I really liked "Dog of the South" too, though you apparently didn't .. not great literature, perhaps, but a funny story well told

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

The idea is good if only to see Jeff Bridges in a proper lead role.