Ask Roger Smith, George W. Bush, Charlton Heston and the heath care industry. If there’s one person you don’t want to screw over, it’s Michael Moore. Whether you agree with his politics or not, Moore is well-known for being extremely vocal and diligent. So when he audited his $200 million, 2004 hit film Fahrenheit 9/11 and found “substantial irregularities in the accounting,” he went to the men responsible: Bob and Harvey Weinstein. After several months discussing the matter, Moore filed a lawsuit against the Weinsteins in Los Angeles County Court Monday for “breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and constructive fraud claims.” He claims the Weinsteins used “Hollywood accounting tricks” and “financial deception” to cheat the him out of almost $3 million. Read more after the break. Read More »

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Dear readers, yes, we had to. While browsing the NYT today, we came across a new interview with Quentin Tarantino in T Mag. Awesome. But then the horrific photo above came crashing atop our Sunday hangover like a white squall. Bustin’ surfboards. Alas, the chat does contain a few bits of cool info. First off, Tarantino confesses that Inglorious Basterds is indeed the “hardest film” he’s ever made. From a director who says that he would die to make his movies perfect, this may or may not come as a big surprise. Perhaps the latter, given that IB is a WWII epic, clocks in at over 2 hours and 30 minutes, and was cast and shot in time for this month’s Cannes. When asked about the quick production schedule, he frankly responds…

“I wanted to have a masterpiece before the decade’s out.”

At first, I interpreted this sentence to mean that he considers Inglourious Basterds to be his only masterpiece this decade. But clearly, both volumes of Kill Bill reached those heights, while Death Proof remains a genre exercise that certainly did not.

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When it was first announced that Paramount Vantage and Overture would be distributing Michael Moore’s next film, the press release stated that “the subject matter of the new film is being kept under wraps by all the principals.” I think where people got confused is the release also called the film “a searing and provocative follow up to his groundbreaking 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 9/11“. So everyone jumped on the story assuming it was the Fahrenheit 9/11 and 1/2 sequel that Moore mentioned in 2004. But Moore has stepped forward to clear the air:

“To just say it’s a sequel is so wrong,” Moore told The Associated Press. “It would be easier and safer to make a sequel, if that’s all it was, but this isn’t about Bush. We all know this. Regardless of who the president is come November, we have a big mess, a big, big mess to be cleaned up, and I don’t know whether it can be cleaned up. The toxicity of the spill may be so great that there’s nothing we can do about it. If that’s the case, where are we now as America and as Americans?”

Moore says that the documentary will go beyond Bush. The new film, due in 2009, will supposedly “examine America as an empire, study its standing since the Sept. 11 attacks and present revelations to surprise audiences as much as the first film did.”

“What I’m going to say in this film is what probably 70 percent of them (audiences) don’t want to hear,” Moore said.

But then comes this quote from chief executive officer of Overture Chris McGurk which confuses the matter further:

“The country has sort of been rotting from within, and the culprits are big business, big corporations, kind of the conservative government,” McGurk said. “`Bowling for Columbine,’ `Sicko,’ `Roger and Me’ all could have been episodes inside the context of this film.”

So wait, it’s about what? Is it a follow-up to Fahrenheit 9/11 or a followup to all of Moore’s films to date? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. I was a little worried when they announced that a sequel was going forward. I’m a big fan of Moore’s work, but 9/11 was probably his least interesting documentary. And I’ll certainly be glad to see Moore leave Bush behind and do what he does best, tell a story. I’m just trying to figure out, what story will he tell this time?

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