Paramount has made a surprise decision to move the Robert Downey Jr / Jamie Foxx film The Soloist back to March 13th 2009. The film was originally scheduled to hit theater in late November, just in time for Award consideration. Paramount was pressured by Viacom to cut costs for the fourth quarter of 2008, and The Soloist was cut. Apparently the film isn’t testing well anyways. [Variety, Wells]

As a result, the studio will now be pushing Robert Downey Jr. for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as “the dude playin’ the dude, disguised as another dude” in Tropic Thunder. But will the Academy seriously consider Downey Jr’s performance as a method actor who becomes black for a movie role? [Firstshowing]

The Weinstein Co has (not so) quietly shifted the Viggo Mortensen apocalyptic thriller The Road from it’s scheduled Novemeber 14th release date, back to at least December, if not 2009. Executives are scheduled to meet with the film’s producer’s on Thursday to discuss if the film will be released this year. [THR]

Paramount is also delaying the Paramount Vantage Edward Zwick-directed Daniel Craig-starrer WWII film Defiance until December 31st. The film was oriignally scheduled to hit theaters on December 12th. The new date will allow the film to qualify for award consideration. [deadline]

And Warner Bros has given Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes a release date: November 20th 2009. The studio has also shifted the Jaume Collet-Serra thriller The Orphan to July 24th 2009. [SHH and Shock]


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Rain of Madness on iTunes

Paramount has released Rain of Madness, the entire 30-minute documentary about the movie within the movie (“ I’m the dude playin’ the dude, disguised as another dude! “), for free on iTunes.

“German born documentarian, Jan Jürgen blows the lid off Hollywood, exposing the frenzy, the insanity and the madness surrounding the filming of ” Tropic Thunder”. One of the most ambitious war films ever made.”

In this episode of the /Filmcast, Dave, Adam, and Devindra discuss whether Paz makes a good replacement for Javier Bardem, wonder about an Anchorman sequel in space, and review Tropic Thunder. Special guests Jake Hurwitz and Amir Blumenfeld join us from Collegehumor and

Have any questions, comments, or suggestions? Want to advertise or sponsor the /Filmcast? Feel free to e-mail us at or call us and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Tune in as we broadcast live on Monday night at 10 PM EST / 7 PM PST to review Death Race with Paul Scheer from Human Giant.

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Movie Review: Tropic Thunder

Caution: Spoilers everywhere.

Whatever. Tropic Thunder didn’t meet expectations. It’s not an abortion in a beard like Clone Wars, but it wimped out. For some reason—probably due to the red band trailer and months of exposure to incredibly positive buzz—many hoped Ben Stiller would redeem himself and categorically skewer the Ben Stiller who will soon make three more Night at the Museums, two more Fockers and four more Madagascars. And throw on another $100 million blockbuster where he plays the exfoliated clueless egomaniac who puckers and speaks fluent infant.

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Assessing the Themes of Tropic Thunder


One of my favorite films this summer is Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder. While it didn’t do as well at the box office as I might’ve hoped, I think the film is hilarious and pitch-perfect in the way it ridicules Hollywood excess. Furthermore, this movie is the Hot Fuzz of Hollywood war films; where the former was a parody of the best action films ever made, Tropic Thunder takes elements of war films and turns them on their head, from the grizzled veteran, to the skinny and green straight man, all the way to the brutal and revered enemy leader (in this case potrayed by the simultaneously adorable and terrifying Brandon Soo Hoo).

But underneath its sheen of light-hearted hilarity lies a biting message not just about the lengths to which actors will go for an Oscar, but about the ridiculousness of white cultural appropriation.
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As expected, The Dark Knight was dethroned at the Box Office this weekend, after five weeks on top. Tropic Thunder won the weekend with an estimated $26 million ($37 million 5-day total). But here is where the unexpected thing happened – The Dark Knight beat Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which was projected to take the #2 spot on the weekend charts. The latest Star Wars film only made $15.5 million over the three days, a million or two less than The Dark Knight. And what’s worse is, Steve Mason is saying that the animated adventure might not even reach $40 million domestically. This is the first big Star Wars theatrical failure. And by failure, I mean it was still profitable. With anything Star Wars, it’s hard to lost money after merchandising, dvd and tv sales. But it will definitely be considered a failure within the Industry.

But not only did The Clone Wars fall to the Cape Crusader, but also the original Lucas sci-fi film Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. The film overtook Jaws to become the highest grossing film of all time. Then E.T. came and knocked the movie off the top spot. Jurassic Park and Forrest Gump knocked the film further down the all-time list to #4. But in 1997, Lucas rereleased the movie as part of the Special Edition trilogy release, which put A New Hope back on top of the list. But not for long, Titanic came later that year and knocked Star Wars back to the #2 slot, where it has remained until now. That’s right, The Dark Knight has just overtaken Star Wars to become the second highest grossing film of all time (domestically). Of course, this doesn’t take inflation into account.

The Dark Knight will end the weekend with an estimated $16.8 million, bring the film’s domestic total to $471.5 million. Analysts project The Dark Knight to finish around $525 million, about $75 million short of Titanic‘s record. And Star Wars fanboys shouldn’t worry too much. When George Lucas eventually releases the original Star Wars trilogy in 3D, A New Hope will probably be back on top once again.

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Iron Man just bitch slapped The Dark Knight for having a BA in philosophy. To be more precise, a non-blackface Robert Downey Jr. candidly discussed his rabid thoughts about the biggest fanboy movie of all time to MovieHole. Nice.

The Dark Knight. “My whole thing is that that I saw The Dark Knight. I feel like I’m dumb because I feel like I don’t get how many things that are so smart. It’s like a Ferrari engine of storytelling and script writing and I’m like, ‘That’s not my idea of what I want to see in a movie.’ I loved The Prestige but didn’t understand The Dark Knight. Didn’t get it, still can’t tell you what happened in the movie, what happened to the character and in the end they need him to be a bad guy. I’m like, ‘I get it. This is so high brow and so fucking smart, I clearly need a college education to understand this movie.’ You know what? Fuck DC comics. That’s all I have to say and that’s where I’m really coming from.”

It’s on the table like a fanboy buffet. What else needs to be said? RDJ gave a hat tip to Tropic Thunder and Iron Man 2 screenwriter Justin Theroux, expressing relaxed confidence in the Marvel sequel. Moreover, Theroux made an apples-and-oranges comparison to TDK and Iron Man 2 yesterday to Vulture. His take: TDK is Days of Thunder and Iron Man 2 is Talladega Nights. Yep, it’s war.

Discuss: Are Robert Downey Jr.’s criticisms worthy? In your opinion, how much better was TDK than Iron Man? Did anyone like Iron Man more?

Update: Hmm, there’s some TDK backlash in the comments. Is RDJ a cigar-chomping harbinger?

The /Filmcast Interview: Jay Baruchel


The /Filmcast Interviews are a series of interviews with movie stars, directors, and other key figures from the film industry. In this episode, David speaks with actor Jay Baruchel about his career and about working with Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., and Jack Black. Baruchel currently plays Kevin Sandusky in the film Tropic Thunder, which opens today. You can listen to the interview in podcast form, or check out a full transcript after the jump.

Have any questions, comments, or suggestions? Want to be interviewed on the /Filmcast? Feel free to e-mail us at You can also call and leave a voicemail at (781) 583-1993.

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David Chen: So, Jay Baruchel, thank you very much for speaking with us Slashfilmcast today.

Jay Baruchel: Please, thank you for having me.

David Chen: So, I guess I kind of want to ask you: One of your first starring roles was on the series Undeclared but in the past few years you have worked with the likes of Clint Eastwood, Judd Apatow, and now Ben Stiller for Tropic Thunder. Can you just sort of tell us the story of how you go into acting in the first place and what your journey has been?
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In this episode of the /Filmcast, Dave, Devindra, Adam, Peter, and Hunter Stephenson weigh in on the Tropic Thunder controversy, defend Shia Lebeouf, and re-enact a scene from one of Hollywood’s hottest scripts. Special guest Dan Trachtenberg joins us from the Totally Rad Show. Have any questions, comments, or suggestions? Want to sponsor or advertise with the /Filmcast? Feel free to e-mail us at You can also reach our voicemail number at 781-583-1993. Join us next week as we broadcast the /Filmcast live on TUESDAY night (NOT Monday) at 10 PM EST / 7 PM PST and review Tropic Thunder.

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