Thursday, May 26, 2011

Remember Alexander Payne? He's finally back

Quick, can anyone remember how long it's been since Alexander Payne has made a feature film? Rather amazingly, it's been since 2004, with the seriously satisfying "Sideways."

Which is a real shame, because when he gets a chance to work, he's easily one of my favorite directors. On top of his game, as with "Sideways" and the even better "Election," he just has a wicked sense of humor with a real bite that I appreciate. And for an earlier pick that you can somehow still find at Netflix, "Citizen Ruth," while a much broader kind of flick, is a satire about abortion politics starring Laura Dern that holds absolutely nothing back.

His only real misfire so far, at least for me, was "About Schmidt," which garnered mostly very positive reviews, but to me was just a sappy, truly pointless mess.

Anyways, he's finally back again now with "The Descendants," something serious looking that just happens to star one George Clooney. Best as I can gather, it's about a land baron (Clooney) who's working to reconnect with his daughters after his wife is injured in a boating accident. Like I said, cheerful stuff, but I'm betting on some sly touches, and that this will be a real winner when it comes out Dec. 16.

And in perhaps even better news, we might just not have to wait so long for Payne to direct his next movie after this one. According to the IMDB, he's at least attached to direct a movie based on the novel "Fork in the Road" by Denis Hamill. Though I haven't read that book, here's the synopsis from Publisher's Weekly, which makes it sound like fun stuff:

Twenty-five-year-old film director Colin Coyne goes to Dublin to write a screenplay about his alter ego Kieran, an Irish American from New York who goes to Ireland to find the girl of his dreams. Scripting his film as he lives it, Colin discovers that the line between art and life has been erased by Gina Furey, a gypsy he catches trying to pick his pocket in a crowded pub. Soon he's involved in a passionate but ultimately dangerous affair, with consequences that far exceed anything Colin might have imagined.

Juicy. Who knows if that will actually happen, but in the meantime, enjoy this first trailer for "The Descendants," and then stick around for some more truly raunchy fun from the ladies of "Bridesmaids."

You (or at least I) got the feeling watching "Bridesmaids" that with that many truly funny women in one place, there must have been a lot of pretty great stuff left on the cutting room floor. I'd have to imagine a lot more of that will be on the eventual DVD release, but in the meantime, Funny or Die has released this collection of outtakes that's definitely in the former category. Be warned, if you're watching this at work, do so with headphones, because it is sometimes truly and delightfully foul. You get a lot more Jon Hamm (with Kristen Wiig making monkey noises), and thankfully some more Melissa McCarthy too. Enjoy, and have a perfectly pleasant Thursday. Peace out.

1 comment:

J. Marquis said...

Payne is a fine director. I loved Sideways and Citizen Ruth is one really smart comedy.