Random Thread for August 2014

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In the ongoing Ghostbusters reboot news, Paul Feig has been tapped as director and word is it will be an all-female cast. I’m not sure if it is a proper reboot, with no mention of the original, or a sequel. A sequel would be better, I think, with some cameos by the original cast (except for Murray, who I think is having none of it).

About Jackrabbit Slim

Location: Vegas, Baby! I’m much older than the other whippersnappers here, a baby boomer. I tend to be more snobbish about film, disdaining a lot of the multiplex fare for “cinema.” My favorite films: Woody Allen’s oeuvre (up until about 1990), The Godfather, The Graduate, A Hard Day’s Night, Pulp Fiction. Politics: Well, George McGovern was my political hero. I’m also a prickly atheist. Occupation: Poised to be an English teacher in Las Vegas. For many years I was an editor at Penthouse Magazine. My role on this blog seems to be writing lots of reviews and being the resident Oscar maven.

26 responses »

  1. So what did Zoe Saldana do to get such good luck? She’s now in three major franchises: Avatar, Star Trek, and Guardians of the Galaxy. By the time all is said and done she may have the highest box office total of any actress in history.

  2. Thanks for the stamps tip! I should see if they have any at the post office. The booklet looks cool

    Zoe was also in the first Pirates and had the writers kept her around her box office totals would be stratospheric

  3. I could imagine that Ghostbusters version going ahead as instead of being derided as cynical & pointless because of the female angle it would have Hollywood media behind it. But to echo James, not particularly interested in seeing a version directed by Feig or one starring Wiig, whose comic talents have largely passed me by.

  4. So I went to Hollywood Elsewhere to see what stupid thing Jeff Wells said about Robin Williams, and he did not disappoint–chalking up his depression to his career ebbing, totally misunderstanding what depression is. What an asshole. Reminded me why I don’t read his site anymore.

  5. Wells is either incredibly ignorant or is just searching for clicks by being an asshole. Could be both.

    I agree that Williams’ stand-up / endless riffing never really worked for me, but he was terrific in any number of dramas and things like The Birdcage where he played more of a straight man (allowing people like Lane and Azaria to bounce off him).

  6. Because of the largely dismal set of films Williams made over the last decade – such as the awful ‘The Big Wedding’ which I regrettably saw at the cinema – it’s easy to overlook what an impressive career Williams had from the late 1970s to early 2000s.

    If his career peak had been just ‘Mork & Mindy’ he would’ve already been noteworthy to some degree. But instead of fading from the scene as Gabe Kaplan did, he had an enormously successful film career.

    Looking over his film career, it surprised me to see in just over 10 years he won an Oscar as well as be nominated on three other occasions. By any definition that’s an impressive achievement.

    To be sure he did too many corny, sentimental films in the second half of his film career but his overall film record is quite impressive. Even as late as 2002-03 period he managed to appear in ‘One-Hour Photo’ (very good film), ‘Insomnia’ (which I haven’t seen) and ‘Death To Smoochy’ (missed opportunity but he’s very good in it.

    A lot of Williams’ films got mentioned by fans and friends today but I’ll mention one that I didn’t see mentioned that I liked – Jumanji. Thought that it was great fun.

  7. Another interesting observation I read about Williams’ career was how he worked with so many notable directors; Allen, Altman, Van Sant, Nolan, Roy Hill, Levinson amongst others. Unfortunately in the case of Spielberg & Coppola he worked with them on arguably their least-regarded films.

    Still, it’s quite impressive. One of the few major modern-day directors he didn’t work with was Scorsese. I reckon if Williams had been around 10 or so years earlier I could easily envisage Hitchcock using him in one of his later works.

  8. I’m trying to think of Williams’ favorite film of mine. I didn’t really like Dead Poets Society (though I thought he was terrific) and Good Morning Vietnam was just okay. I suppose it was Good Will Hunting, though I quite liked Insomnia.

    He did make some of the worst films of the last few decades, though. In addition to the oft-mentioned Patch Adams, he made Toys, which I havent’ seen but a friend can’t describe without shuddering at the memory.

  9. There are reports that Williams took the cancellation of his CBS show a few months back very hard, which led to the rehab stint in July.

    It’s interesting because the show really didn’t warrant cancellation based on the ratings numbers, but it was very, very expensive thanks to Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar’s paychecks.

  10. I’d say my favorite Williams film was The Birdcage (which I have seen an absurd number of times). Also really liked One Hour Photo, Insomnia, Jumanji and The Fisher King.

    Branching off Marco’s point about working with great directors in bad movies: he seemed to have a knack for getting attached to daring, visionary films with directors that lacked the ability to actually bring those visions to the screen (What Dreams May Come, Being Human)

  11. When I was 17 I wrote my college application essay about perceived similarities between Robin’s improvisation skills and my own (educationally speaking). It must have worked because I was accepted. Wish I could find it now.

    I probably haven’t seen half of his films and never saw his CBS show, but I enjoyed what I saw when I saw it – including Patch Adams. Aladdin goes without saying, but I still like Hook and, though I haven’t seen it in 20 years, I’m sure Good Morning Vietnam is still good. I may be the only person who liked Death to Smoochy & Popeye.
    One Hour Photo, The Night Listener, Insomnia, Jumanji, Dead Poets Society, Good Will Hunting, Awakenings, The Final Cut are all worthwhile. I think I liked Mrs. Doubtfire when I first saw it, but I can’t remember much about it (other than the basic premise) since.

    Tiburon isn’t that far away from where I live and many local people have stories of running into him or seeing him randomly show up for a set at a tiny theater (Throckmorton) with Mort Sahl or Dana Carvey.

    Looks like he has 4 or 5 more movies coming out. I can’t imagine what his mind must have been like to convince him to do something so terrible.

  12. The news today that Leonard Maltin’s 2015 Film Guide will be his last is a sad one (although not that surprising). Like many others, I’ve had reference to at least one version of the guide for decades. It’s peak period was probably in the 1990s when Maltin was one of the most well-known critics going around (in part because of his regular role on the internationally-screened Entertainment Tonight).

    But there are have been signs for years that its peak period has passed. Not just because of the Internet age, but because of some rather unwieldy changes to the guides. Why for example he seperated many pre-1960 films into another guide yet pointlessly kept TV movie reviews is a mystery to me.

    One could always quibble about some of his reviews but that comes with the territory. His guide will be missed and hopefully he can continue it on in app form (which it was but currently stalled) to some extent.

  13. Richard Attenborough’s death today at age 90 is notable as there was few more significant figures in the British film industry post WW2, as an actor, director, producer and general leading figure in the industry.

    He had some major success as a director but in the films of his I’ve seen I found him to be rather pedestrian to be honest. ‘Chaplin’ was OK but considering the possibilities should’ve been much better. And even his Oscar-winning ‘Gandhi’ I thought was rather uninspired.

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