I have a mild disgust for nearly every movie based on a story by Philip K. Dick. (Yes, even Blade Runner in all of its various editions.) It isn't because I don't like Dick's stories, it's just that his stories, which are almost always among the best of the sci-fi/fantasy genre, are kind of boring visually. At first, this doesn't seem like it should be true, since most of his work deals with dystopian futures and drug(-like) experiences, but beyond that everyone spends most of their time talking. That's why it's truly unfortunate then that The Adjustment Bureau is set in the present with sober people who spend all of their time talking.
Clint Eastwood's low-key filmmaking style may not be for everybody, but with an engaging story, he can (and often does) create masterpieces. Unfortunately, none of the three stories in Hereafter are engaging, or believable, or even particularly original, so when they clumsily come together in the final act, it's like watching a slow-motion tidal wave full of debris crashing onto the beach, and pulling away to leave... nothing, really. Even that sounds more exciting that what actually happens in the movie.
The marketing for Green Zone has made quite a big deal about the film reuniting Matt Damon with his Bourne Ultimatum and Bourne Supremacy director Paul Greengrass, and there are valid reasons for that. The movie features Greengrass's trademark shaky camera technique, as well as Matt Damon kicking people. The difference is this film has an even more ludicrous plot than the Bourne films (if you can believe that), without half the quality of those movies' scripts (if you can believe that).
Matt Damon is back, and he's mad! In Green Zone, he plays a warrant officer tasked with finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which mostly means he runs around pointing guns at people, scowling, getting captured, escaping, and openly threatening senior intelligence officials. So naturally, he -- wait a minute. We've seen this guy before. This is one of the stock characters from the Matt Damon playbook! Granted, it's not a very large playbook, but every character Matt Damon has ever played can be divided into one of five types. Here's a guide to the five, so you can recognize them in their natural habitats.
At one point in Clint Eastwood's latest movie, Invictus, a rugby-loving white South African tells a soccer-loving Black South African that "Football is a gentleman's game played by hooligans, and rugby is a hooligan's game played by gentlemen." It's an old saying, and while its veracity depends on your opinion of rugby players, it's interesting to think about, given this film's pedigree. Despite the Oscar-winning director, historical origins and fancy Latin title, Invictus is essentially a feel-good sports movie. I mean, it's not Major League or anything like that, but aside from some moments where the cast sits down and thinks about what Nelson Mandela went through in prison, it's a fun ride, and occasionally very funny, mostly thanks to Freeman playing Mandela as a man who is not above lightening the mood with a joke.
For Steven Soderbergh's The Informant!, Matt Damon plays biochemist Mark Whitacre, a whistleblower at a food additives company. Given a picture of Damon in the role, with his prosthetic nose and mustache and the 30 pounds he gained for the role, and that bare outline of a plot, one could easily mistake the movie for The Insider, the Russell Crowe tobacco-industry drama that earned nominations for Best Actor, Best Director and Best Picture in 2000. And while this movie is (mostly) a wacky comedy, don't be surprised if it replicates that nomination spread, and maybe even takes one home this time. Because while wacky, the based-on-true-events story and Damon's alternately understated and over-the-top performance may just have the humorous edge on Michael Mann's gloomy-gus exposé.
For those out there that have always wanted to see Michael Douglas in rhinestones, fur and pink (all at the same time), your dreams will come true in the not-too-distant future. Hey... Where'd everybody go? I was just trying to let them know that Michael Douglas has signed on to star in the upcoming Steven Soderbergh biopic about Liberace. It's true--Liberace himself had a lower hairline than Mr. Douglas currently does, but like I tell my boyfriend, oh my god, please wipe the crumbs off the counter. Also: It takes a real man to wear pink. Douglas will comb his hair forward, don the pink tuxedo and maybe even keep the counters clean as Mr. Showbiz for his Traffic director.
The man behind the "I'm Fucking Matt Damon" and "I'm Fucking Ben Affleck" music video spoofs has scored yet another big-screen project, this one of his making, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Wayne McClammy, a segment director for Jimmy Kimmel Live!, has sold a spec comedy script titled Le Car to MGM, written with his Kimmel cohort, Will Burke. [Don't you mean Emmanuelle 2000: Emmanuelle Pie star Will Burke? - Zach]
There has long been talk of producing a big-screen adaptation of Torso, Brian Michael Bendis and Marc Andreyko's graphic novel based on the serial murder case that plagued Eliot Ness's post-Untouchables career. Originally a limited series from Image Comics in the late '90s, the book is called Torso because that's all America's first serial killer left of his victims. (Although the first thing I thought of was that Simpsons episode where Todd Flanders proudly exclaims, "I'm a torso!" Is that wrong? Probably, yes.) Image co-founder Todd McFarlane talked to IGN about producing a film almost three years ago, and director David Fincher was attached shortly thereafter. Then last month, Matt Damon was pretty much confirmed for the lead, so it seemed like the project was picking up steam.