Monday, 29 August 2011

Hollywood Babble On & On #792: Three Little Thoughts From A Very Big Brain


George Clooney has dropped out of Steven Soderbergh's upcoming film
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. for Warner Bros.

For those who grew up caves
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was a TV series in the 1960s that capitalized on the "spy mania" created by the success of the James Bond movies, and even had some input during development by Bond creator Ian Fleming. The show was about two secret agents, American Napoleon Solo, and Soviet Russian Illya Kuryakin battled threats from global power-mongers T.H.R.U.S.H.

Soderbergh seems keen on bringing it to the big screen, and if Clooney isn't keen on joining him, then he's either thicker than two short planks, and thinks that he has enough money to maintain his lifestyle for the rest of his life.


Well, outside of the
Ocean's 11 movies, which were sugar coated confections made by Soderbergh, you'd be hard pressed to find many George Clooney films crossing that $100 million mark that is necessary to be considered an "A-List movie star," and cash the obese checks he gets for movies far too few people see. Even the last Ocean's movie cost so damn much it still failed to profit despite the big box office, but that's another story.

Clooney needs to do the movie, he needs a Brad Pitt, or equivalent to play his partner, and he needs something people will actually pay money to see. He ain't getting any younger and villas in Italy aren't cheap to keep up ya know.


Lionsgate has hired a writer to reboot the 1987 indie hit Dirty Dancing.

Should be as big as Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights!

Or the Dirty Dancing TV series, which lasted half a season before the network realized that nobody watched it.

Does anyone see what I'm getting at here?

The original film was a lightning in a bottle moment, a tiny, cheaply made movie, that caught on big time. It was the right film with the right attitude at the right time. Attempts to replicate its success on TV and the big screen have all met ignominious failure.

So why keep trying?

Because Hollywood is so scared of trying anything new, they will accept guaranteed failure, because then they can pass the blame onto their market research when it tanks.


The MTV Network, home of
The Jersey Cold Sore Shore scored major ratings with the live Video Music Awards last night. In fact, they were the biggest ratings the network has ever seen.

You know, such success might lead MTV into a bold new direction.

Imagine, a cable channel dedicated entirely to music, and music related programming. I'm talking all kinds of genres, styles, music videos, concert specials, you name it.

I think there used to be a channel that did that a long time ago, but it's long dead, and I think MTV can fill this gap.


  1. Speaking as a person who watched the Man From Uncle back in the day, it pretty much sucked. Ilya Kuryakin was every girl's crush, of course, which is probably something that George Clooney would balk at (I'm assuming he'd be Napoleon Solo). The idea of an international crime-fighting organization is even more risible today than in the 1960s.

    But on the other hand it would mean that people would once again understand the jokes in Get Smart.

  2. Sandy- A commenter at Nikki Finke's site suggested Jon Hamm as Solo & that made a lot more sense than Clooney.

    Now if they make the UN in UNCLE stand for "United Nations" all they'll do is condemn Israel while THRUSH ran wild. (Now that's some edgy political humor)

  3. I really cannot see why the VMa's had such a higher ratings than last year. The show WAS JUST BORING. I had to wait to see Russel Brand give a tribute to Amy Winehouse and just a 5 second teaser for Hunger games. A film that I really do not know why it is getting so much hype.

  4. Soderbergh's oeuvre is politically left - sometimes starkly so. So I'm betting his version of UNCLE will be very UN centric while Thrush will be an international conspiracy of evil oil companies feeding money to AGW deniers.

    The big question will be, can he get his film out before the 2012 elections?

  5. United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. With luck even Soderbergh wouldn't change that, because it was a pretty big deal among the fans that the shows were produced "with permission of" that organization.

    One would hope that Thrush was evil enough that even right-wing people would be happy to see it trashed. But I imagine Soderbergh would make it more capitalistic and less techno-fascist. Or maybe the two are the same in his eyes. Thrush was never just about money.

  6. Hey Mr. D - I would like to see some remarks about the shortly-upcoming Creature movie. All I know is the trailer.

    PROS - it had Sid Haig

    CONS - 1) the creature apparently bites you to death (this time Terror has Teeth) which is odd, since any gator can out-bite it.

    2) The costume is way over-designed with football shoulderpads and spiky bites, in direct contrast to the simple original.

    3) from the trailer, it seems that the movie's plot is just "hang out in the bayou while the critter picks us off" which we've seen a billion times.

    4) everything is at night so it's scary and we can't see the costume.

    5) the girl cries because it's soo scary. Just like in Blair Witch.

    Please give me some data in hopes that it will be good. I love the original Creature from the Black Lagoon and have tried to model my life after it.

  7. Sandy-

    I haven't even seen the trailer yet, but your description doesn't sound promising. I liked the original Black Lagoonie's nice basic fishy design.

    As for Soderbergh and UNCLE, he'll probably do what 90% of all non-James Bond spy films do, and have Solo and Kuryakin being hunted by their own UNCLE organization for some really contrived reason like "they know too much."

  8. Jeeze I wish you were wrong. How long can Hollywood think a trope is "new"? I remember watching Capricorn One back in the day and being only mildly impressed by the eee-vil gummint spooks. "I've seen this before" I remember thinking. Especially in the era of Richard Nixon's gummint, which seemed unable to keep ANYTHING secret, it was dumb.