Rob Burnett‘s The Fundamentals of Caring premiered at last January’s Sundance Film Festival and garnered a decent 70% Rotten Tomatoes rating. Based on the same-titled 2012 novel by Jonathan Evison, it pops on Netflix on 6.24. Paul Rudd, Craig Roberts, Selena Gomez, Jennifer Ehle, Megan Ferguson and Frederick Weller. N.Y. Post‘s Kyle Snith: “I enjoyed Fundamentals of Caring but it’s hard not to notice it amounts to a checklist of all the things that were once supposed to add up to an inspiring indie hit.”
I’ll be back in Los Angeles on Wednesday, and the first thing I’ll be jumping into will be the L.A. Film Festival (6.1 thru 6.9). So far I’ve noticed three or four films of passing interest but nothing that really heats the blood. Just a lot of indie titles of marginal interest. No hot premieres, minor Sundance repeaters, none of the Cannes headliners…flatline. I shared this view with a film-savvy friend and he said “my impression is the same as yours. I felt like last year’s LAFF had almost no buzz, and this year it has even less.”
The only LAFF film that feels even slightly intriguing is 11:55, a High Noon-inspired drama about neighborhood violence. (It’s screening here in Manhattan tomorrow night.) There’s also Amber Tamblyn‘s Paint It Black — her debut effort as a director. John Krasinki‘s The Hollars, which didn’t fare all that well at Sundance ’16, is an attraction. Ditto Meera Menon‘s Equity, another Sundance premiere. There’s also Political Animals, a doc about LGBT legislators.
I’m assuming that the LAFF programmers deliberately decided to focus on smaller-scale American indie films that nobody has heard of, and didn’t even try to land the hot titles that people would actually like to see. Or maybe they did but the distributors of the hotties said “no dice” because they’re waiting for the start of awards season.
If I was running LAFF I still would’ve tried to book films with at least a semblance of heat.
What kind of three-toed sloth leaves a TV on all night long, and with the sound turned up fairly loud? I’m in room #211 at Brooklyn’s Henry Norman Hotel, and I can report with authority that the dipshits in #210 had their TV going loud from midnight until 8:30 or 9 am, and that the sound attenuation is definitely a concern here and that sleep was less than deep or serene. I told the night manager around 7:30 am what had happened, and about a half-hour later he was knocking on the door because the residents of #210 hadn’t answered the phone. They didn’t answer the door either so he let himself in and turned the TV off.
The manager confided that the guests were booked for only a single night’s stay and had apparently checked out around midnight or 1 am without bedding down. Three guesses as to why they didn’t stay, and the first two don’t count. If you don’t want to sleep over, fine, but who abandons a hotel room in the wee hours with the TV blasting? Anyone would say an element of manners and civility is clearly lacking. This is an aspect of our culture, or New York culture at the very least. It’s who “they” are. Who dat? People who were raised without a lot of discipline or by stable emotional role models, or both.
Whatever the truth of it, Johnny Depp was trashed in social media circles last weekend for having allegedly thrown a cell-phone fastball at wife Amber Heard and given her a facial bruise. Heard has obtained a restraining order over this alleged altercation as well as claims that Depp has “been violent towards her on multiple occasions during their 15-month marriage.”
Depp’s ex-wife Vanessa Paradis (who just did time as a Cannes Film Festival juror) has chimed in as a positive character witness, saying she finds Heard’s assertions dubious or appalling or something along those lines. And yesterday TheWrap guest blogger Doug Stanhope posted a piece saying that Heard’s assertions are “bullshit” and part of a deliberate shakedown attempt to get as much money out of Depp as possible. (Depp and Heard hadn’t signed a prenup before marrying.)
I know nothing specific but I’ve heard that Depp likes to bend the elbow so maybe something happened. I know for sure that when a super-rich, over-50 guy marries a hot actress who’s 25 years younger, he’s definitely asking for trouble. He’s basically saying “I know this almost certainly won’t last very long — I’m not an idiot — but she’s beautiful and the sex is great and I’ll be dead in 35 or 40 years so what the hell.” (The gossip, says a friend, “was that Heard was a banshee in bed, bringing in other girls for threesomes”). And now that chicken has come home.
I think The Movie Godz may have put in a call to the Fate Godz and suggested that Depp needs to pay a little penance for all those Pirates of the Caribbean movies. That may sound fickle or loony to some, but I’m a serious believer in the idea that if you deliberately make a movie that you know will make piles of money but which you also know will be hell to sit through for people like myself, then you have to accept that the forces of karma will somehow push back and bring grief into your life.
As of 5.18, Time Warner Cable (my ISP for years) officially became a Charter cable company, and more specifically a brand-new cable, internet and home-service provider called Spectrum. I understand that these changeovers always happen with a minimum of theatricality and presentation, but wouldn’t you think they could at least manage to call themselves “Spectrum” when you call the Time Warner customer service number? (I called this morning — here‘s what it said.) How hard could that be? Variety‘s Cynthia Littleton wrote that “the old names and logos will linger for a few months on the screen guides and billing documents while Charter readies its relaunch plan.” I don’t like or trust ass-draggers as a rule. Until further notice when you hear Spectrum, think slow-boat, slacker, slumber.