The TMZ guys spoke with Bryan Singer, Kate Bosworth and Brandon Routh on the promo circuit in Europe., and in this clip all three are asked about Pirate 2‘s monster opening weekend. Poor Bryan…tough place to be, but he’s facing it with class. (If you don’t have the Mozilla ActiveX plugin, forget it…the clip won’t play.)
A fairly clever aping of the Drudge Report in order to promote Lionsgate’s The U.S. vs, John Lennon (which will hit theatres a couple of months from now, give or take).
Way of the Ass
[Spoiler Note: If you consider a single specific description of a gross-out moment in a Kevin Smith film to be an earth-shaking spoiler, read no further.]
I can roll with bestiality as an occasional online diversion. Every five or six months, I mean. I’m not a subscriber to any of the farm-love sites, but an actor once sent me a video file…you don’t want to know. But I’ve never seen a donkey show in Tijuana, and I’m proud that the notion of attending one has never crossed my mind.
KRosario Dawon and Brian O’Halloran in Kevin Smith’s Clerks 2
How did I get started on this subject ? Oh, yeah….Kevin Smith’s Clerks 2 (Wein- stein Co., 7.21), which does the gay-donkey thing inside a New Jersey fast-food joint called Mooby’s in the third act with the whole crew (Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Smith, Jayson Mewes, Rosario Dawson, Trevor Fuhrman) alternately fascinated and horrified, etc.
I come from a decent middle-class New Jersey family, and I’ve read read hundreds of good books. I have two children, I can sing on-key and play drums, I know how to write, I’ve been to Paris and Prague and Rome, I know some of the best people on the planet, I used to be heavily into the Bhagavad-Gita, and here I am riffing on a scene in a film in which a bald leather-clad gay guy blows a donkey and then lubes the poor animal and anally goes to town
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I was fine with Clerks 2. Okay…define “fine.” I think it means feeling okay, smiling, laughing now and then…having an alpha time of it.
I’m a fool for Jayson Mewes (whom I once called “the Marlon Brando of stoner comedies”) and also Ms. Dawson, whose passion and vivaciousness upgrades this film all to hell. (As Smith put it yesterday during a round-table session at the Clerks junket, Dawson’s top-grade acting is verified by the fact that “she makes you believe that she would fuck Brian O’Halloran.”) And it has a Jackson Five musical dance sequence that rocks out pretty well.
Jayson Mewes, Kevin Smith
I presume I don’t have to go into the basic drill about O’Halloran and Anderson playing older, slightly chunkier versons of the Dante and Randal characters they portrayed in Smith’s original Clerks…you know this. The guys getting older and still treading water in a retail service job (serving fast food instead of selling smokes), and wondering what the hell’s next.
But the energy and the humor is up and down, in and out…and I just wanted more. I was hoping for Clerks 2 to be faster and darker. That’s just me. It hangs in there true and steady, but it doesn’t build all that much as it moves along. It keeps to a certain deliberate pace and I guess I’m more comfortable with more wildness. I wanted more boyfriends and girlfriends arguing and challenging each other, more pushing the limits of propriety, more confrontations with customers, more shoving ….something looser and ruder.
I can honestly say that until last week I’d never heard, much less used, the term “porch monkey”, but Clerks 2 has rectified the first half of that situation. (If you want an idea of how racist-ugly Americans can be, check out this Wikipedia page on ethnic slur terms.) And I agreed with Randal when he asks in the film, ‘Why is ‘porch monkey’ necessarily a racial slur? It refers to a lazy guy doing nothing but hanging out on his porch. And monkey isn’t racial thing — it just implies “devolved.”
Little Miss Sunshine does something pretty amazing. It sometimes drops down into some pretty dark places, but then two minutes later it bounces right back and does something pretty damn funny, or at least amusing, and sometimes touching. With the memory of that film in my head, I was kind of hoping for some meaner, grislier, heart-of-New-Jersey darkness stuff in Clerks 2.
Kevin Smith is too nice and mild-mannered, I guess, to go in that direction. I know him pretty well and it’s really not a rumor — he’s one of the gentlest and giving-est guys working in this town. (What do you want me to do, lie about this?)
Thing is, Clerks 2 is about something very real and not altogether pretty — what happens when under-the-radar guys get into their 30s and they’re still doing nothing with their lives? What’s it like to deal with this? What options are possible? Are people doomed by this age, or do they still have a shot?
The despair levels that I’ve seen among the unambitious knockaround types I know from Fairfield County are not pretty. Rage sometimes erupts out of nowhere and then it’s “whoa….look out.” These guys are not living lives of any fullness or self-satisfaction. And there’s no one like Smith to point a finger at something psychological or sociological and say, “Forget what you’ve read or heard — this is what’s really happening.”
I think if Smith wanted to get down and make a funny movie that also takes a probing look at a sad situation that may be happening with — who knows? — tens of thousands of GenX slacker types, he could do it with one hand tied behind his back. But he hasn’t chosen to, and he’s cool with that. He’s just not a fire-in-the-belly John Osborne or Chuck Palahniuk.
A perfectly focused glass of water (center) and a less-focused Jason Mewes at Tuesday’s Clerks 2 junket at Four Seasons Hotel — 7.11, 2:20 pm.
Nothing against Anderson and O’Halloran, but I would have preferred seeing another Jay and Silent Bob film, or even one that’s mostly about Jay. Call it a weakness, but I think Mewes is a truly gifted madman. I peed in my pants at the Silence of the Lambs stuff he does in Clerks 2, and I just think he’s a star, and that he’s got more X-factor magnetism than Anderson or Halloran have any day of the week.
I loved the Battle of the Trilogies debate scene (Rings vs. Star Wars). I was okay with the donkey-blowing, and cool with the urine ice being put into the glass of coke. I laughed at the porch monkey thing despite the negatives. The energy from Rosario Dawson is glorious when you consider the contrast. The vocal energy and the feeling in her eyes…Smith was either lucky or inspired or both when he decided to try and bring her into this.
I like O’Halloran’s sad, soulful eyes and his voice — he can do romantic lines pretty well — but I wasn’t quite comfortable with his puffy Irish kisser. With two women liking him enough to chow down on him, the guy should have dropped some pounds before shooting began. And what’s with the hair? I sat next to him during the junket yesterday and it’s kind of sandy brown, but his hair is dyed a kind of inky dark brown in the film and doesnt look right — like he did it himself at home.
Why was I cool with Clerks 2 but hated You, Me and Dupree? Because at least Clerks 2 has some genuinely funny stuff that kicks in from time to time, and because Mewes is funnier than Owen Wilson, and because Rosario Dawson kicks Kate Hudson’s ass.
The reader comment thing is up and rolling again. There was an awful technical hassle all day with the software having been disabled by the Soviet bureaucrats at Lunar Pages, on top of other issues and things to come. But the problem has now been rectified and everything’s jake…for now.
Down on Dupree
Reviews of You, Me and Dupree (Universal, 7.14) are starting to show up so here goes my own. As an exercise in eccentricity I thought I’d run my thoughts raw, as I first expressed them in an e-mail a few days ago.
But first the basics: Carl Peterson (Matt Dillon) is an affable guy with a new wife, Molly (Kate Hudson), and a new job working for her tyrannical egotistical land- developer dad (Michael Douglas…obvious echoes of De Niro’s psycho-pop in Meet the Parents). Enter Carl’s best friend Randy Dupree (Wilson), an amiable slacker who can’t hold a job and has lost his apartment, so Carl takes pity and invites him to stay in his and Molly’s home…for a short while.
Kate Hudson, Owen Wilson and Matt Dillon in Joe and Anthony Russo’s You, Me and Dupree
“Oh my God…oh my God,” my letter began.
“You must know that You, Me and Dupree is easily one of the worst films of the year. Slapdash, undisciplined, uninispired and sans compass or clues. It’s Boudou Saved From Drowning and The Man Who Came to Dinner subjected to devolution, the TV backgrounds of co-directors Joe and Anthony Russo, and the enthralling comic vision of producers Scott Stuber and Mary Parent.
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“I don’t want to sound harsh or intemperate, but if I was running Universal I wouldn’t hire the Russo brothers to be gate guards.
“There is one scene that works, in which Owen gives a rousing speech about different lifestyles and modes of growth to a classroom of eight year olds. It’s been dubbed ‘the Mothership’ scene on this Yahoo page.
“I’ll always love Owen Wilson and Dillon is actually pretty good, and Michael Douglas has obviously had some great work done and has dieted a lot of pounds off and has a great wardrobe guy to boot.
“Hudson is okay but she’s not exactly a comedian — she’s more of an aura lady — but over the last six years she’s hasn’t landed anything nearly as good as the role she played in Almost Famous, and she’s gotten weaker and less connected as the years have rolled by.
“Thank God for Owen. He plays the same spirited spiritual-flotation-device spacehead in every film he’s in, and he’s always great at it, and that’s what makes him a bona fide star. Even though he doesn’t really ‘open’ anything.
“But woebetide this movie. I leaned over and said to [name of a guy] sitting next to me about 35 minutes into it, ‘This isn’t very funny.’ And then it got worse and worse.
“If the Russos were geniuses, they might have transformed this thing into some- thing resembling Jonathan Demme’s Something Wild. You know it, right? Some say it’s Demme’s best film ever.
“The Russos could have run with the ball and made it lame-funny at first, but gradually darker and meaner and nastier. They could have had Dillon get into a car accident and maybe kill a pedestrian and wind up in jail and turning into a thief. Hudson and Wilson could have had an affair, and Douglas could have hired Owen and fired Dillon, and then Douglas could have seen his business fall apart for some reason. And Owen could have become a gleeful villain with a serious psycho streak.
“It could have been amazing — a movie that starts out as an exercise in “comic” tedium and morphs into a kind of melodrama-horror film. Startling, breathtaking… the audience wouldn’t know what to think or feel, but they’d definitely be talking it up.
“But not with the Russos as they really (apparently) are. Not with Stuber and Parent involved. Not with Universal’s committee process in place.
“I really think the people who helped make this thing need to leave town and go to an ashram somewhere deep in the Mexican mountains and ask themselves, ‘What am I doing with my life? What have I become? How do I live with myself after this?’
“As soon as it ended last night, the theatre emptied out like that. People sticking around for the closing credits is always a good sign that a film has affected viewers on some level. But people couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
“Every which way this movie is a tank, an embarassment…a fountain of eternal shame and remorse.”
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