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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Robert Downey, Jr. in Rehab

You’ve been arrested for sleeping in your neighbor’s bed because you were so high you returned home to the wrong house. You’ve been arrested, high and drunk, with a loaded weapon in your glove compartment and cocaine and heroin in your pocket. You got special dispensation to take a week-long holiday from your rehab program to host Saturday Night Live, where you used to work high every week. Despite some difficulties with completion insurance and the fact that you’ve yet to prove that you can draw a dime of box office, your movie career is stronger than ever. What would you do? What would you do? If you were Robert Downey Jr., you’d do some more illegal narcotics. And if you were Judge Lawrence Mira of Malibu, you would revoke Downey’s probation — well, eventually — and let the poor boy finish his movie first. It’s good to be a star.
Mercury Effect is the latest spec script purchase for Warner Bros. The story, in which the FBI investigates some really smart animals who are eventually connected to the monkey sent into space in the Mercury 6 program 35 years ago, was pitched as Jumanji meets Men in Black (sounds more like a Planet of The Apes sequel). Was it coincidental that the executive who agreed to the $450,000 pricetag is exactly 35 years old and has hairy knuckles? You decide!
L.A. Confidential’s resident hunk, Russell Crowe, will follow in the footsteps of mega-superstar Emilio Estevez by playing a hockey-playing sheriff of a small Alaskan town who leads the local hockey team against the NHL’s New York Rangers in an untitled movie written by TV-kingpin and Michelle Pfieffer spouse David E. Kelley. Titles already passed on include The Mighty *ucks!, The Flighty Schmucks and Sports Underdog Movie Number 1273.
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“With any character, the way I think about it is, you have the role on the page, you have the vision of the director and you have your life experience… I thought it was one of the foundations of the role for John Wick. I love his grief. For the character and in life, it’s about the love of the person you’re grieving for, and any time you can keep company with that fire, it is warm. I absolutely relate to that, and I don’t think you ever work through it. Grief and loss, those are things that don’t ever go away. They stay with you.”
~ Keanu Reeves

“I was checking through stuff the other day for technical reasons. I came across The Duellists on Netflix and I was absolutely stunned to see that it was exquisitely graded. So, while I rarely look up my old stuff, I stopped to give it ten minutes. Bugger me, I was there for two hours. I was really fucking pleased with what it was and how the engine still worked within the equation and that engine was the insanity and stupidity of war. War between two men, in that case, who fight on thought they both eventually can’t remember the reason why. It was great, yeah. The great thing about these platforms now is that, one way or another, they’ll seek out and then put out the best possible form and the long form. Frequently, films get cut down because of that curse in which the studio felt or feels that they have to preview. And there’s nothing worse than a preview to diminish the original intent.Oh, yeah, how about every fucking time? And I’ve stewed about films later even more because when you tell the same joke 20 times the joke’s no longer funny. When you tell a bad joke once or twice? It’s fine. But come on, now. Here’s the key on the way I feel when I approach the movie: I try to keep myself as withdrawn from the project as possible once I’ve filmed it. And – this is all key on this – then getting a really excellent editor so I never have to sit in on editing. What happens if you sit in is you become stale and every passage or joke, metaphorically speaking, gets more and more tired. You start cutting it all back because of fatigue. So what you have to do is keep your distance and therefore, in a funny kind of way, you, as the director, should be the preview and that’s it.”
~ Sir Ridley Scott