howard-cantour-shia-short

“Most critics will give any movie three and a half stars if it flatters their self-image.” That’s interior monologe from the title character in HowardCantour.com, in which Jim Gaffigan plays schlubby film critic and self-styled “warrior” Howard Cantour. But the guy’s voice is far more confident and confrontational when passed through a keyboard than when uttered in person. Shia LaBeouf directed the short, which gently mocks Gaffigan’s critic as it observes him flatulently mocking a film director.

This short takes a lot of well-aimed shots at the culture of film criticism and marketing, as it also indulges in hyperbole of its own. In time, it also cuts to the heart of how some people interact with films — noting that lines can blur between wanting to be moved and actually being affected by something. Watch below.

Update: This is getting messy, as the film is very obviously an adaptation of a comic story by Daniel Clowes, with no credit given to the creator. And Clowes now says he’s never talked to LaBeouf.

Update 2: In a string of tweets, embedded below, LaBeouf has offered an extended “apology.”

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In this edition of TV Bits, your can see script pages, read about lawsuits, sickness and advertising. After the jump, read about the following:

  • Ron Howard tweeted the title of the first episodes of Arrested Development‘s fourth season.
  • HBO is developing a new comedy called The Landlord by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Daniel Clowes.
  • The head of NBC Bob Greenblatt spoke about the future of Community with its new night and loss of Dan Harmon.
  • Jonathan Rhys Meyers will be playing Dracula on a new NBC drama.
  • The CW has changed its slogan and ad campaign.
  • Comedy Central has ordered a pilot of the web series Tiny Apartment.
  • Despite contract disputes, the cast of Modern Family went back to work Thursday.
  • Production on Fringe was shut down for two weeks to accommodate John Noble.

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Last year, as Alexander Payne was getting going on The Descendants, we got word that he was also planning an adaptation of the graphic novel Wilson, by Ghost World and Art School Confidential creator Daniel Clowes. We haven’t heard much about that project in a bit, but now Clowes says that the film is still in the works, and will be Payne’s next film after the black and white father/son roadtrip movie Nebraska. While I wouldn’t take the “next movie after Nebraska” idea as gospel, it is good to know the project isn’t dead. Sadly, some other Clowes film projects are dead; we’ll run down all the current status reports after the break. Read More »

Would you like to watch video interviews with Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Cobie Smulders and Tom Hiddleston discussing The Avengers? How about see the first look of Michael Shannon as Zod or the new Superman cape in Man of Steel? What are the perks of pre-ordering the Thor Blu-ray? And what did Christopher Nolan do to thank the city of Pittsburgh for allowing them to film The Dark Knight Rises there? Read about all of this, and see a clearly marked page of video spoilers from The Avengers and Dark Knight Rises, in today’s Superhero Bits. Read More »

Sublimely talented writer/cartoonist Daniel Clowes first saw his work on screens in 2001 with Ghost World, and then again in the rather disappointing Art School Confidential. We’ve been waiting for his animated film with Michel Gondry and son to appear, but in the meantime his latest graphic novel, Wilson, may be raw material for an Alexander Payne film. Read More »

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