Old people are hilarious, for a variety of reasons. They get bored easily. They like things that are out of style. They can't do things for themselves anymore. They place less value on human life. And they will kill you without a moment's consideration. At least, these are the things that I've learned about them from the movies, which are always pulling them out of retirement for one last job, be it a bank heist or an art heist or one last case or to avenge some cut-up prostitute in the Wild West. And while RED is no Unforgiven -- the characters in the movies similarly seek no forgiveness, nor do they seem to possess any -- it is endlessly entertaining, and features some of the most hyper-violent senior citizens you will find outside of Japanese animation.
News broke today that Tyler Perry, the auteur behind Madea and everything else Tyler Perry Presents, would be taking over the role of Alex Cross (Kiss the Girls, Along Came a Spider) from Morgan Freeman in I, Alex Cross, the next film adaptation of James Patterson's series of crime novels. Which is kind of hilarious, but hey, Tyler Perry has a massive following, so we don't blame them. Nevertheless, it got us thinking of other hilarious cast replacements that could be made in established film series, and off we went. For the record: These? These we'd blame them for.
Spike Lee is far better known for what he does off the screen than what he puts on it. It's a shame, because Lee is one of the few directors working today whose style permeates every movie he makes. Like Scorcese's work, one need only look at a few shots to immediately peg a Spike Lee Joint. And like the people IN Scorsese's work, Spike Lee appears to relish picking fights. After settling the fight he had over WWII movies with Clint Eastwood, Spike has now set the stage for one with penis-obsessed director-producer Judd Apatow. For what Apatow has done to shame my Johnson, he deserves to get punched out.
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.
If I were a movie star, the one thing I'd get is a personal driver. This is why I don't understand why celebrities continue to drive themselves around town -- and over embankments and under other cars. In the past week, Shia LeBeouf crashed while doing his Tara Reid imitation, crushing his hand in the process, and Easy Reader flipped his vehicle in Mississippi. Don't these folks have enough money to hire professional stunt drivers -- I mean, chauffeurs? Let's check in on our recuperating celebs. I'm glad they're both going to be all right -- so I can make fun of them!
Let's get the hype out of the way: Yes, The Dark Knight was hyped, hyped, hyped. Yes, it's opening on about seven gazillion screens (more than 4,300, to be precise). Yes, the hype got even more deafening after Heath Ledger's tragic death. The hype factory for this movie was working at such volume, in fact, that the rest of the movie sort of got lost in all the white noise. (For example, Aaron Eckhart? Fantastic in his own right, but there's nary a mention of his performance in the media coverage up to this point.)
Okay then, hype acknowledged -- about the movie, and about Ledger's performance in it. And to think I foolishly worried the movie couldn't live up to it all.
If you're a PBS or BBC geek like me, or just a lover of veterinary literature, the title All Creatures Great and Small probably brings up a very specific memory for you: Country vet James Herriot tending to his stable of animal patients. He treated horses, dogs, cats, and a pregnant cow or two--the latter by very memorably inserting his arm into the birth canal up to the shoulder. So when The Hollywood Reporter reported that the writers of Wanted have penned a script for a movie also called All Creatures Great and Small, it gave me a moment of pause. I started imagining Siegfried Farnon as the Morgan Freeman character, Sloan, recruiting young vets and barn yard animals into a secret fraternity of assassins. Dairy cattle would be instructed to "curve the milk" to hit their targets. But never fear; although Derek Haas and Michael Brandt's script is about animals, it's probably not about cows.