Magic Mike's Last Dance (Warner Bros., 2.10.23) will hopefully be the last installment. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, written by Reid Carolin, produced by Channing Tatum and costarring Tatum and Salma Hayek (who replaced Thandiwe Newton when Tatum canned her). Tatum is 42 -- too old for this racket. Login with Patreon to view this post
It's morbid and a bit grotesque to even ask, much less speculate, about which big-name director is allegedly facing The Big Sleep, and that's not what I'm doing here. I'm just sorry if the rumor is true, and I really hope it's not a certain fellow I won't name. Login with Patreon to view this post
Brendan Fraser has told GQ‘s Zach Baron that he “will not participate” in the 2023 Golden Globe Awards early next year, even if he’s nominated for his acclaimed performance in The Whale.
He will not do so because HFPA member Philip Berk allegedly came close to fingering Fraser in the ass back in ’03, or 19 years ago at a Beverly Hilton function. Fraser tells Baron that he became gloomy after the alleged incident took place and that he lost respect for the organization.
A Fraser interview popped on the GQ site four years ago. Also written by Baron, it’s titled “What Ever Happened to Brendan Fraser?” That always struck me as a dorky title because we all know what happened.
Between the early ’90s and late aughts Fraser was a hugely popular movie star, partly for his amiable manner and assured acting skills but largely because of his good looks — slender, hunky and big-shouldered with kind, captivating, wide-set eyes.
During the early to mid teens Fraser’s looks changed — he put on a shit-ton of weight and lost his thick wavy hair**, and so he downshifted, naturally, as all actors do when they get fat and turn bald, from a movie star to a character actor.
He’s been rebounding for four or five years now, but mainly, in my mind, since he costarred last year in Steven Soderbergh‘s No Sudden Move. Now he’s really rebouunding as a likely-to-be-Oscar-nominated hotshot for his performance as a 600-pound beefalo in Darren Aronofsky‘s The Whale.
The Philip Berk anal finger story, which everyone’s heard time and again, was recounted in Baron’s 2018 piece. In Fraser’s telling Berk came close to anally penetrating Fraser with Crisco: “His left hand reaches around, grabs my ass cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around.”
Fraser “felt ill,” he tells Baron. “I felt like a little kid. I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I thought I was going to cry. I felt like someone had thrown invisible paint on me.” (Berk tells Baron that Fraser’s version of the incident is “a total fabrication.”)
Let me explain something. If I had been in Fraser’s shoes and Philip Berk had come close to fingering my ass, I would have immediately grabbed his arm or his wrist and twisted his arm around his back. I would’ve leaned down and shouted to Berk, “Are you fucking kidding me?” And after this incident was over, I probably wouldn’t have felt like a little kid or like I was going to cry. And I damn sure wouldn’t have gone to my wife and gone “gee, I feel badly because Phillip Berk came close to fingering me in the ass.”
** Fraser could’ve fixed the hair situation if he’d gone to my Prague guy.
In his 11.15 review of Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans, NewYorker critic Richard Brody says that Spielberg’s core filmmaking aesthetic is about “[putting] the emotional world of prime-time television into the form of classic Hollywood cinema.” Which is interesting.
But as with all concise definitions of complex journeys, there are exceptions. 96% of Schindler’s List, I would say, is enticingly theatrical — it’s the ending that feels television-ish. Ditto War of the Worlds — Tom Cruise‘s son having survived intense combat with the Martians plus Gene Barry and Anne Robinson joyfully welcoming the family into their Boston brownstone at the finale.
What other instances of Spielberg films that generally play by theatrical rules until their endings?
- All Hail Tom White, Taciturn Hero of “Killers of the Flower Moon”
Roughly two months ago a very early draft of Eric Roth‘s screenplay for Killers of the Flower Moon (dated 2.20.17,...More »