Written by: Ron Bricker
Notes from a Crank
George Clooney's Leatherheads is set to release this Friday, April 4th. It’s a period piece about the birth of the NFL, but also a screwball comedy with romance! Something for everyone! All dollars accepted, thank you very much! Clooney directed the film and plays the lead role–a hunky, aging football player with a fearsome grimace on the field and a familiar Cheshire grin while wooing the young ladies post-game. I know–it's a stretch, but I think he can pull it off. Remember–not only do they edit the images to make people look better at the game they are pretending to play, but they also use stunt doubles, AND–the coup d'gras–every actor has to follow a script approved by Mr. Clooney! So he always wins! Or loses humbly and handsomely and gets the girl anyway. What a life…
The poster alone–ubiquitous in L.A.–makes me want to punch the movie in its face (what a cute dog! OMG!). Since this is impossible, I will instead hit this faceless entity where it really hurts: I will give it bad PR to at least ten people!
For a fascinating history of the Leatherheads movie–the script, written by Sports Illustrated writers, sold in 1991 and has been 'in the works' for the last 17 years, with Steven Soderbergh attached to direct it TWICE, and Mel Gibson initially tapped to play the Clooney role–then click HERE. And I suggest you do, especially if you hunger for insight into the 'process' of making shitty movies in Hollywood.
The $50 million-dollar(?)–plus $50mil(?) marketing–juggernaut was pushed back from its initial December launch due to 'George Clooney's busy schedule.' I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that the movie is a piece of shit. Why release a piece of shit when good/big movies are out, in December? Why compete with pre/post-Oscar extended releases of big movies in Jan/Feb, especially if you're in one of them (Michael Clayton)? Any idiot knows you should release a bad movie in the spring, although preferably not during the first three weeks that a big animated movie (Horton Hears a Who?) is in theaters!
December, 2007 releases included: Atonement, Juno, I Am Legend, Charlie Wilson's War, National Treasure, Sweeney Todd, Walk Hard, Bucket List, and There Will Be Blood.
Meanwhile, here are the current Spring 2008 releases, with commentary, for your consideration:
10,000 BC–didn't even make $10,000 profit! Won’t!
The Bank Job–who is Jason Statham's audience? Who cares about heist movies anymore? They're all the same! Let me guess–they get a bunch of money/ jewels/ gold/ information, but then something happens, somebody gets squeezed, loyalties are tested, a villain chases them down, our hero gets away, with or without the treasure–and along the way, sexy women with tits are involved for various reasons.
College Road Trip–Martin Lawrence stinker, with annoying grown-up Cosby kid who thinks we like her.
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day–this one is so stupid, it deserves to fend for itself:
"In 1939 London, Miss Guinevere Pettigrew (played by Ms. McDormand) is a middle-aged governess who finds herself once again unfairly dismissed from her job. Without so much as severance pay, Miss Pettigrew realizes that she must for the first time in two decades seize the day. This she does, by intercepting an employment assignment outside of her comfort level as social secretary. Arriving at a penthouse apartment for the interview, Miss Pettigrew is catapulted into the glamorous world and dizzying social whirl of an American actress and singer, Delysia Lafosse (Ms. Adams). Within minutes, Miss Pettigrew finds herself swept into a heady high-society milieu and, within hours, living it up. Taking the social secretary designation to heart, she tries to help her new friend Delysia navigate a love life and career, both of which are complicated by the three men in Delysias orbit; devoted pianist Michael (Mr. Pace), intimidating nightclub owner Nick (Mr. Strong), and impressionable junior impresario Phil (Mr. Payne). Miss Pettigrew herself is blushingly drawn to the gallant Joe (Mr. Hinds), a successful designer who is tenuously engaged to haughty fashion maven Edythe (Ms. Henderson) the one person who senses that the new social secretary may be out of her element, and schemes to undermine her. Over the next 24 hours, Guinevere and Delysia will empower each other to discover their romantic destinies."
Married Life–hackneyed step-grandchild of Divorce, Italian Style and Crimes & Misdemeanors with four actors who don't belong in a movie together (Pierce Brosnan, Patricia Clarkson, Rachel McAdams, and recent whore Chris Cooper). Remember The Holiday?
Doomsday–Does this plot synopsis not sound like Children of Men/ 21 Days/ 3 Kings, but worse?
"A lethal virus spreads throughout the British isles, infecting millions and killing hundreds of thousands. To contain the threat, acting authorities brutally quarantine the country as it succumbs to fear and chaos. The quarantine is successful. Three decades later, the Reaper virus violently resurfaces in a major city. An elite group of specialists, including Eden Sinclair, is urgently dispatched into the still-quarantined country to retrieve a cure by any means necessary. Shut off from the rest of the world, the unit must battle through a landscape that has become a waking nightmare."
Horton Hears A Who–It's animated, so it'll make at least $100million, but that doesn't mean it's good. In fact, the only thing good I can say about it is that at least Mike Myers wasn't in this one. This movie will fade just in time for Clooney to sweep in and get all those horny old ugly moms back in the theater again.
Never Back Down—Karate Kid meets Fight Club, but in a high school, and involving mixed martial arts. Looks like Daniel-san has gotten hotter and finally watched Ultimate Fighting Championship. Hits the coveted 'dumb, testosterone-soaked young male' demographic, the rare pack of gutsy, super-horny tweens who will see anything involving abs, and nobody else.
Funny Games–a glaring exception, although I did not love it. It's at least worth seeing; nobody will see it.
Drillbit Taylor–Owen Wilson didn't refuse to do the press tour due to his still-frail psyche; he refused to do it because this movie clearly SUCKS and he'd like to forget he was ever associated with it, much less gracing 100-ft tall billboards in L.A, in character. So he told the producers to suck it, and they did.
Meet the Browns–King of the box office Tyler Perry strikes again, with yet another movie only black people will see; but not just any black people–only those black people who will go to the movies to see anything starring other black people, regardless of quality.
Snow Angels–Can't stand David Gordon Green; and neither can 99.9% of the country. For once we agree!
Shutter–Stupid horror movie. Doesn't need to be good; will make money in first few weeks because people go to see horror movies even when they will clearly suck.
The Grand–Improvisational comedy centered on people playing poker–starring Shannon Elizabeth, Woody Harrelson, and Werner Herzog. Ugh. I feel bad that David Cross and Cheryl Hines felt the need to be a$$ociated with this bad idea…
The Hammer–Adam Carolla as a boxer? Even as a joke, it's an awful one. Who cares about this guy? Who can listen to his voice without wanting to puncture their ear drums with a fire-hot dagger?