Thursday, 29 July 2010

Hollywood Babble On & On #565: Bits & Bites

Welcome to the show folks...


Brit comedian/professional image Russel Brand has expressed interest in doing a historical action comedy where he plays legendary medieval mercenary John Hawkwood. For those not well versed in the history of late medieval Condottieri, Hawkwood was an English mercenary who went on to command the armies of various factions in war torn Italy.

I'll admit that I'm not a Brand fan, and I have the bad feeling that he'll play the character, like he plays all other characters like a washed up 80s rock star. My prediction, he'll drop out screaming "I can't ruin my image!" the moment he finds out that he needs a haircut to look like Hawkwood.


Fox and Ridley Scott have reportedly hired Damon Lindelof, the former head writer of TV's Lost to work on the script for the planned prequel to Alien.

My prediction: The movie will features various humans and aliens wandering around an island where nothing makes sense, then it will have a vague ending that won't answer any questions raised during the movie.


TV mogul Haim Saban has asked CBS honcho Les Moonves to pull Oliver Stone's Secret History of America from Showtime's schedule as punishment over Stone's recent comments about a so-called Jewish dominated media preventing Hitler from being seen "in context" and for making the Holocaust "a big deal."

Haim, I'm sure you're a lovely guy, but I have to say that this sort of talk is not how you deflate an obnoxious windbag like Oliver Stone. Get his show taken off the air and suddenly Oliver Stone is a martyr in the sort of places where he seems to seek approval, like among the rulers of Venezuela and Iran. You need an all new tactic.

Stone is basically one massive ego who thinks he knows everything about everything, and that everyone else is just a puppet of some shadowy conspiracy between the US Military/Industrial Complex, Big Oil, the Freemasons, that's secretly being run by Will Wheaton, otherwise known as TV's Wesley Crusher. If he hadn't made such big movies in the 80s like Platoon and the first Wall Street, he'd be living in a shack in Idaho writing manifestos on an old Smith Corona about how the antlers of the local deer conceal hidden devices designed to steal his brainwaves.

So here's what you do: You mock him. You make fun of his documentary. You get a bunch of historians a platform to discuss his factual errors, trust me, they will find them. Make him a laughingstock.

Make him a martyr and he'll never shut up. Make him a walking joke, and he might just clue in if he has any brain cells left.

Then you make him apologize for Alexander. Egad that was a steaming POS.


A lot of people are making hay over reports from observers that model turned singer turned First Lady of France Carla Bruni-Sarkozy screwed up her silent cameo in a Woody Allen movie by looking at the camera, possibly up to 35 times.

Well, when you stunt cast you gotta accept that there will be some risk involved. Film acting isn't as easy for some as people would like you to think it is. In fact, it's loaded with tricks and traps that long time pros don't even think of after they've corrected their screw ups for the 100th time. This is especially true when you stunt cast someone who spent somewhere around 20 years engaging the camera by looking directly at it with a sexy 'come hither' look when she was a model. You need a cattle-prod to break that habit.


Guillermo Del Toro has signed on to adapt HP Lovecraft's novella At The Mountains of Madness with James Cameron producing.

The novella's the story of a 1920s
expedition to the Antarctic that uncovers some ancient horrors that defy imagination. It was a direct inspiration for "Who Goes There," the story used as the basis for the classic 80s horror film The Thing. Now if there ever was someone born to do Lovecraft on film, it's Del Toro. However, I do have some advice for him.

A. Macho up the characters. The average Lovercraft protagonist usually faints at the sight of horror and then goes mad. Audiences aren't going to dig that. Someone's going to have to take some sort of stand when the Great Old Ones start sliming up the joint.

B. Don't let Cameron write the script. Let him sign the checks, but don't let do rewrites. If you do, he'll toss in some deranged ex-Marine who goes bat-shit crazy and tries to kill everyone for no good reason.

C. Make a film that will work in 2D too. I know the theaters are saying it's the wave of the future and will remain forever, but audiences are already starting to get a little tired of sub-standard film-making hiding behind a 3D bush. By the time you're done post-production, the whole craze could be deader than Mel Gibson's image.

D. Don't let James Cameron anywhere near the script. Seriously, it's for your own good and the good of the film. He'll slap in the plot from Ferngully and that will be bad for everyone.


The Weinstein Company has announced that it will boost it's release slate in the coming year.

Translation: They might actually try to release a movie into theaters instead of just announcing they're going to release it several times, only to play it in one theater in Utah, then dump it into the nearest DVD discount bin which is their usual practice.

Sure, I'll believe it when I see it.


  1. je pressman30/7/10 12:27 am

    Why has Russell Brand become a ,"serious actor?" Brand ina medieval movie,noooooo, only if he is chained in the dungeon accused of witchcraft,but then eventually dies of the plague.I know you have to be an older boomer, but damn that guy reminds me Tiny Tim, the falsetto singerfamous for Tip Toe Through the Tulips on the old Laugh-in comedy show. Perhaps Brand and the Tim fellow are related. Furious is correct about Ferngully and Cameron. I recently saw Avatar, (I'm glad I waited)and was impressed with the special effects. I just know that Avatar will make a great theme park ride.Ah but the story was comic book simplistic,300 million spent on this film and THAT was the plot?Plus Worthington is not too interesting an actor,more than one facial expression was needed.The movies have had their share of showmen in the past and Cameron is just such a guy,but Avatar,the story,is too familiar and not worthy of all that visual dazzle.This is quite a list you have assembled Furious D,Hollywood needs a blood tranfusion.

  2. Blast Hardcheese30/7/10 9:23 am

    E. There is no part E

    F. If you let James Cameron anywhere near the script, I may have to come over to your house and break your legs.