It takes about a half-hour to accept Steve Martin as the idiotic Inspector Clouseau in Shawn Levy’s (hah!…Shawn Levy with a possessive credit!) The Pink Panther (Columbia, 2.10.06). But after you’re past this it’s pretty funny. Sony/Columbia won’t sell it right (what do they care?…it’s an MGM/UA leftover) and it probably won’t make any decent coin in the States, etc. (Europe, maybe.) But how come the IMDB doesn’t list Clive Owen’s cameo walk-on? He plays agent 006…half-goof, half-real…a kind of half-smoke signal sent to the Bond movie producers back when Panther was being shot (which was what…a year and a half ago?) to seriously think him over.
It’s official: the Hollywood Film Festival has labelled itself as the shallowest and whoriest film festival on the face of the planet. The festival’s “Board of Advisors” managed this in one fell swoop by announcing that George Lucas’s Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith is the winner of this year’s “Hollywood Movie of the Year” award. Lucas, an over-praised hog-at-the-trough if there ever was one, will be given the award at the Hollywood Awards Gala Ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on 10.24. The Lucas announcement was made by Carlos de Abreu, the festival’s founder, exec director and reigning oral-love-bequeather. “Mr. Lucas is a creative genius, a visionary at its best,” de Abreu said. The award was chosen by “more than 70,000″ online voters at Yahoo Movies (movies.yahoo.com) and Entertainment Tonight (ETonline.com).” The festival fathers should have obviously ignored the results once the winner was known, etc. American ticket-buyers have to be led, guided, pushed…saved from themselves! The other nominees for this year’s award were Batman Begins (fine), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (get outta here), Cinderella Man, The Constant Gardener, Crash, Hustle and Flow, War of the Worlds, Wedding Crashers (all cool), Sin City (forget it)…and yet Sith received nearly one-third of the votes cast. What kind of morons…?
I think it’s vaguely whorish that Ridley Scott wants to direct an “Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective” movie. Scott and Howard Deutsch, who owns the rights to the series of novels written by Donald J. Sobol (despite Sobol’s claim in Sharon Waxman’s N.Y. Times piece that the rights will eventually revert to him and anyone who cuts a deal with Deutsch “will be stuck”), are trying to launch another Potter-like tentpole series…and all I see are a couple of guys trying to cash in. I would feel differently if my kids were eight or ten years old, but they’re not and so this franchise, if and when it gets rolling, is going to the top of my list. Sobol’s books (all 23 of them) are about the efforts of 10 year-old Leroy “Encyclopedia” Brown and his best bud Sally to solve various mysteries. Waxman’s piece says that “every book has 10 mysteries within it, with solutions printed in the back of the book…readers are challenged to solve the cases using deductive reasoning and careful observation, which has led to the character’s sometimes being referred to as Sherlock Holmes in sneakers.” In other words…hello?…inherently un-thematic, un-cinematic and who-gives-a-toss? Deutsch told Waxman he “envisions the series as more an action-adventure type movie rather than a straight- ahead detective story.” Scott told Waxman that “in the case of ‘Encyclopedia Brown,’ we have a classical hero and heroine who just happen to be kids. They are ordinary and extraordinary at the same time, and that makes these books attractive.” The whole concept makes me want to throw up.