Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Free and funny? Two of my favorite things

Actually, before I get into that, now that Joaquin Phoenix's sabbatical from acting appears to be over and his "I'm Still Here" freakout exposed as a hoax (albeit, from what I've heard, a very entertaining one), it's good to know he's quickly going to jump into things that should be fascinating.

First up, if some financing issues are resolved, will be an indie oddity titled "Big Shoe," about a foot fetishist (Phoenix, presumably) who doubles as an amazing footwear designer. Ingenue Mia Wasikowska, who has yet to make a movie I haven't liked quite a bit (especially the Southern drama "That Evening Sun," out on DVD now, so watch it already), has been cast as the female lead in this craziness.

Sound like an odd subject for a feature film? Well, it comes from director Steven Shainberg, who has been missing for about five years, but when he makes movies enjoys rather lurid subjects. He made his debut with the S&M flick "Secretary" starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, and also made "Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus," which starred Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey Jr.

Here's hoping that somehow comes together, but more likely and even better would be if he takes the part that Clint Eastwood has reportedly offered him in Eastwood's upcoming J. Edgar Hoover biopic.

With a script from "Milk" scribe Dustin Lance Black and Leonardo DiCaprio hired to play Hoover, this was already shaping up to be pretty great, but now with Phoenix being offered the role of Hoover's protégé and reputed paramour Clyde Tolson, who was Hoover's longtime associate director of the FBI, it just gets much better.

It's a fascinating subject now apparently to be paired with an equally great cast, so this 2012 flick is definitely one to keep your eyes on.

OK, now on the titular offer of free and funny, which comes in two doses (actually, I suppose the latter is actually more cute than funny, but it's still pretty great.)

First up comes the new Louis CK standup flick "Hilarious," which fortunately both lives up to its boastful title and is being streamed for free at Epix. I've watched about half of it so far, and even if CK's often morose humor isn't for everyone, it certainly is for me, and this is really good stuff. To see it, go here and sign up by entering your e-mail (yes, you have to), and then enjoy.

And finally today, what OK Go is doing with music videos is really something not to be missed. The band's actual music is just the breeziest brand of pop, but as visual artists, they clearly put a lot of effort in to their work and have a lot of fun doing it.

If you've never seen their giant Mousetrap game video for the song "This Too Shall Pass," I've included that too at the end, because it really is a pretty amazing visual feat (and apparently all real - no computer tricks.)

But first up comes their new video for the song "White Knuckles," which, while not as visually ambitious, is guaranteed to make you smile. It features an adorable and remarkably trained cast of rescue dogs doing all kinds of tricks on cue. And, best of all, OK Go is donating a portion of any profits they make from this to the ASPCA. To learn more about that, go here. Enjoy the videos, and have a perfectly bearable Wednesday. Peace out.

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