Thanksgiving takes place in the States in a couple days, which means we’re at the time of year when some families will be convening for afternoons and evenings spent lazing around lethargically reconnecting in front of a ball game or a movie. There are already plenty of films that serve pretty well as background for family conversation, but Parental Guidance looks like a film that aims to be in DVD players for holidays starting in 2013.
The film features Billy Crystal and Bette Midler as grandparents who are enslisted to care for their family’s youngest generation when the kids’ parents (Marisa Tomei and Tom Everett Scott) have to spend a work weekend out of town. And so begins a whirlwind weekend of debauchery and deep introspection. Or, sorry, that’s a different movie — Parental Guidance seems to gently pit Crystal and Midler’s practical but old-fashioned ways against sensitive modern parenting. As gently as possible while also keeping a scene in which Crystal takes a baseball bat to the nuts, that is.
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On the surface, Parental Guidance seems pretty simple. Billy Crystal and Bette Midler star as grandparents who butt heads with their daughter (Marisa Tomei) on how to bring up her kids. The Christmas Day release is directed by Andy Fickman, who has made hit movies (The Game Plan, Race to Witch Mountain) but never good movies (consider She’s the Man, and You Again). Knowing all that, expectations are suitably curbed and the first trailer largely enforces the predictable, holiday cookie-cutter image you might have in your head.
But then the trailer says the film is about “New school vs. old school” ways of parenting and shows somes differences between tough love, Baby Boomer parenting and the softer coddling style of Generation X. Which got me thinking, maybe this movie has something to say? Maybe it’ll be good? Am I giving Parental Guidance way more credit than it deserves? Watch the trailer and decide for yourself. Read More »
The latest to join One Shot, the adaptation of Lee Child‘s thriller novel about former military cop Jack Reacher and the investigation of a strange set of sniper murders in the midwest, is David Oyelowo. Fresh from The Help and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, he’ll play a veteran homicide detective who investigates the sniper deaths.
Tom Cruise plays hero Jack Reacher, and Christopher McQuarrie scripted and will direct. [Variety]
After the break, Marisa Tomei joins Us & Them, and Nathan Lane teaches alongside Julianne Moore in an indie comedy. Read More »
I’ve got a feeling that this is a little like Aliens vs Predator: whichever wins, we lose. A couple days ago there was word that Andy Fickman (The Game Plan, Race to Witch Mountain) would direct Anna Faris in TMI. That’s the Kirsten Smith and Marc Klein script originally said to be about two “just friends” types who finally realize they’re made for each other after a drug-induced evening of debauchery.” Ryan Reynolds was once attached, but he’s only producing, not appearing. Variety‘s report last week when Fickman was reported as directed called it slightly differently, saying it’s about “best friends who sleep together and quickly find that they know too much about one another to maintain a relationship.”
So TMI was last week for Fickman. Now Production Weekly reports that he is “attached to direct the horror/comedy spec Boy Scouts vs. Zombies written by Carrie Evans & Emi Mochizuki.” That’s all we’ve got on that script at this point, but the title hopefully gives away everything you need to know. So which one will be first? Can’t say for sure at this point. Bet on TMI, since it’s been in the pipeline for a while. [image via Flickr]
Veronica Mars. Wow. What a show. Shame that there wasn’t enough of you tuning in to keep it on air. Yes, you. I blame you, you that refused to watch. And yes, I am a bit bitter. And no, I’m a realist. I don’t think there is ever going to be a continuation to the tales of Neptune, definitely not on the big screen.
Kirsten Bell‘s roles since then haven’t really compared – let’s face facts, Ms. Mars is a real Veronica Sawyer humdinger of a role, a genuine Agent Cooper, a Freddy Krueger. These are the parts that actors just can’t outrun, no matter how talented they are or how many opportunities they seize. Kristen Bell’s newly minted deal to star in Andy Fickman‘s You Again will be about as much use in outpacing the spectre of Veronica as a pogo stick would be in fleeing a trident missile.
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IESB has some new news regarding Warner Bros upcoming adaptation of The Adventures of Johnny Quest. Before we get into the news, let me remind you that the original Hanna-Barbera produced sci-fi animated tv show followed an eleven-year-old boy who accompanies his father on extraordinary adventures. So the question is, what can you possibly do to ruin this concept? How about casting 21-year-old High School Musical star Zac Efron as Johnny Quest?
And how about casting Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Race Bannon, Johnny’s special agent bodyguard? The Rock tells IESB that the latest draft of the script is both “awesome” and “badass” and that “there’s no one else who can be Race Bannon than me. There’s no one else.” Of course, this is after he just admitted that he hasn’t read the latest draft, and was just going based on what the suits at Warner Bros told him (“Wow, I don’t know if you’ve read the latest one but it’s awesome and it’s badass and I haven’t read, this is what I told everyone over at Warner Bros.”). Not a good sign at all.
To be fair, an earlier draft of the Johnny Quest script was listed on last year’s Black List, which is basically a list of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. But don’t worry, Johnson says that “there are just a couple of tweaks and changes that” need to be made first.
But lets forget about casting and story for a minute, because obviously, those things are important (yes, that was sarcasm). Who will direct this sci-fi action adventure adaptation? You need someone that is well versed in shooting action sci-fi, right? Andy Fickman is in talks to helm the project… you know, the guy who directed the Amanda Bynes teen romcom She’s The Man and the horrible family sports comedy The Game Plan. Sounds like he would be a perfect fit, right? Oh, it doesn’t? Hmmmm…
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson revealed some new details for the upcoming re-imagining of Escape to Witch Mountain. Titled Witch Mountain, The Rock reteams with The Game Plan director Andy Fickman.
“It’s going to be a great badass action comedy. That’s why they call it a re-imagining and not a remake because they are going to completely amp things up in a major way,” The Rock revealed to /Film during the Southland Tales Junket. “It will be set in Vegas, and I’ll be a cab driver and for me, you always think of movies like that, action comedies… It’s all about the collision of two worlds. My world, I play an Ex Con and my relationships or lack there of only lasts my fares. So you get in and need to be taken down to the end of the strip, you get out $8 later, that’s the extent of every relationship I have.
Johnson promises that the action ramps up pretty early on.
“Now these children get in my cab, and they are on the run immediately, and the chase happens within the first 15 minutes, and we’re off to the races. And that collision is these children who are being chased by your area 51 police, if you will, and then the Vegas police. And it turns into huge chase. It’s great.”
Johnson also said that:Â “David Bomba handed in an outstanding script. We’re all very excited about it.”
It should be noted that David Bomba was the production designer on The Game Plan and many other films in the last 20 years, but he is not a screenwriter. I’m curious to see if The Rock just said the wrong name, or if Andy Flickman has hired his production designer to pen the script. And would Disney allow that? Perhaps with a writers guild strike upon us, the company needed to hire outside the box (I kid, I kid). Matt Lopez is the screenwriter that has been attached to the project. I’m sure we’ll clear this up in the coming days.
Production on Witch Mountain is scheduled to begin the first week of March 2008.
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Good News, Bad News.
Good News: Walt Disney Pictures is remaking Escape to Witch Mountain.
Bad News: They are letting the guy who made She’s the Man and The Game Plan (which almost seems to us like Mr. Nanny with The Rock instead of Hulk Hogan) and a 2003 direct to video movie titled Who’s Your Dady? direct it. On the other hand, Andy Fickman did made Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical, a nice little musical comedy which I caught at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and was shortly after dumped on Showtime (Kristen Bell and Neve Campbell star). So Fickman is capable of making a good film. But what are the chances that Matt Lopez (The Wild) has provided good source material.
The original Escape to Witch Mountain (1975) was based on the sci-fi novel by Alexander Key. The movie followed two mysterious orphan children who have extraordinary powers and are chased by a scheming millionaire with plans to exploit them. The film spawned one sequel (Return from Witch Mountain in 1978), one spin-off tv movie (Beyond Witch Mountain in 1982) and was remade for tv in 1995.
I vaguely remember loving the film during my early childhood, but IMDB’s 6.0 rating makes me wonder. I have been disappointed so many times by movies I once loved as a kid, after re-watching them as an adult. I’m sure many people of this next generation may suffer the same experience with She’s The Man. How sad.