Archive 2





































































































Brad Pitt does some of his best work in films where he makes funny faces...

So, other than Basterds, this weekend is pretty much giving me acid reflux.  Summer is officially over folks.  Just in time for football season.  Here's a little tip for the men out there.  Throw pillows.  Chicks love them.  Also, never, under any circumstances, date a girl during football season who doesn't like football.  I don't care of she wants to permanently attach herself to your penis and wears a bra that looks like a parachute.  

Inglourious Basterds (Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth)

An American-led killing squad known as "The Basterds" terrorize the Nazis in German-occupied France during World War II.  I'm not really sure what to think of Tarantino anymore.  Grindhouse was worse than the cottage cheese at a Sizzler salad bar.  Kill Bill was just okay for me, dawg.  It was a liiiiittle pitchy.  Jackie Brown?  It's almost as if Basterds has to be good.  Otherwise, Tarantino is going to be making Resevior Dogs 2.

My One and Only [limited] (Renée Zellweger, Logan Lerman, Mark Rendall)

A 1950s-set comedy in which the glamorous Anne Deveraux (Zellweger) leaves her adulterous husband and embarks on a trip to search for a wealthy man to fund a new life for her and her sons.  I heard this movie was based on the childhood of George Hamilton.  Who is always wicked tan.  And, has never gotten skin cancer.  I just don't get that.  So, if you want to go see a Renee Zellweger film about George Hamilton, now is your chance.  Yeah...that's what we thought.

Post Grad (Alexis Bledel, Michael Keaton, Carol Burnett) 

When recent college graduate Ryden Malby (Bledel) discovers she can't land a good job because of the working world's harsh climate, she moves back in with her oddball family in order to reconsider her options.  Am I done throwing up in my mouth yet?  Nope.  Hold on.  Nope.  Not yet.  Okay, now I'm...urgh...hold on.  I think I'd rather throw myself under a steamroller than watch Alexis Bledel whine for two hours.  If she needs work, she can come over to my place on Wednesday nights when I toss a Stouffers lasagna in the oven, light up some garlic bread, and crack open a bottle of Gallo Burgundy. 

Also opening this week: Five Minutes of Heaven [LA/NY] (Liam Neeson, James Nesbitt, Anamaria Marinca), Casi Divas [limited] (Patricia Llaca, Julio Bracho, Maya Zapata),  Art & Copy [NYC] (Mary Wells, Dan Wieden, Hal Riney), X Games 3D: The Movie [limited] (Travis Pastrana, Ricky Carmichael, Shaun White)





































































































Conspiracy theory: the two Beatles in this picture wearing ties are still alive...coincidence...?


I'm starting to feel like Hollywood has greenlit so many remakes that it's running out of things to remake.  What's next?  Remaking...a remake?  According to Variety, Disney and Robert Zemeckis are looking to, "Catch the [new] wave of Beatlemania, floating a new 3-D "Yellow Submarine" for the bigscreen, with merchandising in tow and prospects for spinning off both a Broadway musical and a Cirque du Soleil stage production."  Disney is shooting for a premiere around the 2012 Summer Olympics. Which is always a great time to release a film.  

When everyone is at home watching the olympics.

Don't get me wrong.  I love the Beatles.  Just love them (as I'm sure Zemeckis does as well), but is this reeeaaally necessary?  And, at what screwed up lunch did this idea hatch?  Did someone eat some bad spicy tuna rolls, or something?   Not to mention two of the Beatles are dead.

Oh, and here's the other little trick everyone's using in Hollywood these days when they pitch. "We'll make it 3-D!!!"  Hooray!  Because nothing says 3-D like a Beatles movie remake.  Oh, look at the sub, it's coming right at us!  Apparently, Zemeckis plans to use 3-D because he utilized it on another remake he recently completed, A Christmas Carol, in which Jim Carrey plays just about every character in the entire movie.  See how that's different?  Because, Jim Carrey plays the ghosts that haunt him, too,'s in 3-D!!!!    

Am, I bitter?  Of course I am.  I'm a writer.  In Hollywood.  But, on things like this, I'm right.  Because, above all else, I'm a huge fan of film and television.  If I weren't, why would I ever gotten into this lousy industry?  There's a new saying.  "Who do I have to sleep with to get out of this business?"

Okay, that's an old joke.  See?  I just remade it.  In 3-D!!!!  Seriously, put on those weird glasses and it'll look totally different.

--Posted by Todd, August 19-- 


































































































How you doin'?

Frankly, when I wrote that headline, I almost literally put down Rosario Dawson joining the cast of Blah Blah.  I mean, who cares.  This chick is wicked hot.  And, with her in a movie with Denzel Washington--it can't get a whole lot better (Tony Scott directed is also a bonus).  Plus, I love movies about runaway stuff.  Was Money Train a runaway train at some point?  I can't remember...well...most of the 1990s.  Speed was awesome, even though Keanu Reeves has the charisma of a meth addicted former glue sniffer.  Speed 2 was just awful.  It seems in the runaway element needs something smaller than a large ocean liner to be effective.  Eventually a large boat will hit something, creak to a stop, and everyone will just keep eating at the buffet.  Now a boat sinking, that's another story.  I'm grabbing two bottles of Jack Daniels from the bar, and pushing women and babies out of the way to get to a life boat.

Dawson is set to star alongside Denzel Washington and Chris Pine in the train drama, about a veteran engineer (Washington, duh) who jumps into a locomotive with a young conductor (Pine) to stop an unmanned runaway train loaded with toxic cargo (directed by Tony "Top Gun" Scott).  I'm hoping that Dawson plays a passenger with a troubled past (sex addiction) who likes to wear tank tops without a bra.  

Washington actually backed out of this movie back in July, then came back two weeks later. That usually screams script issues, which concerns me.  A lot of times studios go, "Oh, Denzel, the script isn't that bad.  Here's another 5 million."  As many of you know, my 'seeing it in the theater versus getting it on Netflix and using the twenty dollars to drink heavily at home' internal argument is always raging.  Plus, when I treat a lady friend to a night at Casa de Casey, the 'ol boudoir (I strongly suggest you all invest in a Tempur-pedic mattress) is within stumbling distance.  Plus, my Firebird gets about 3 miles to the gallon.  Even with the T-tops off.

So, I don't take these decisions lightly.

--Posted by Casey, August 19--





































































































Ugliest.  Superhero.  Costume.  Ever.


I have heard a lot about this movie, Kick Ass, a comic book based on a comic obsessed teenager who becomes a real-life superhero, Kick-Ass, even thought he doesn't have any superpowers.  The buzz has been pretty heavy.   That probably has something to do with the cast that includes Nicolas Cage, Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.  Clips of the film were also well received at Comic-Con.  Johnson playing young John Lennon in an upcoming Weinstein pic, Nowhere Boy, didn't hurt either.  

It's always interesting to me to see these films make the rounds, get passed on, then get shot, then premiere for the studios who passed on it.  The studios often end up paying a lot more than if they had just greenlit the film in the first place.  Hustle & Flow comes to mind.  MTV Films passed on the project, then paid some absurd amount for the domestic rights--I think it was 9 million.  Lionsgate bid aggressively on Kick Ass, and got it, to the tune of what has been rumored to be a total package close to $45 million.  The foreign rights are still on the table.

It all seems a little strange, seeing as how Lionsgate hasn't had much success with comic related projects in the past (The Punisher, The Spirit come to mind).  I suppose they think this one will be different.  And, it might very well be.

Matthew Vaughn (Guy Ritchie's former producing partner) co-wrote the script with writing partner Jane Goldman. Producers on Kick-Ass are Vaughn, Brad Pitt, Tarquin Pack and Kris Thykier. Vaughn's Marv Films and Brad Pitt's Plan B produced and financed the project privately (which took gigantic balls, in my opinion).  Vaughn and Pitt made Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch together. 

--Posted by Gary, August 18--





































































































Even with beer goggles on, this thing would be reeeeaaaally ugly...


Here we were bitching like a bunch of sorority girls who'd gotten VD from the same guy (the guy probably got it from a toilet seat), and look at these numbers.  Hey, maybe people like choices.  Choices can be good.  Like, do you want to go to a Super 8 or a Motel 6 (I accumulate points at both)?  Or, do you want to spend the night in jail, son, because that's where you're headed right now.  That sort of thing.  So, it's not really much of a surprise that this weekend was up 15% over last year's numbers. 

Also, our pick this week didn't come in ninth, like last week. Obviously, some of you took my advice and escorted a lady friend to Time Traveler's Wife. There's nothing wrong with showing your soft, feminine side in order to depants them.  Even if it isn't genuine.  Think of it like a trick play in football.  It's just a flea flicker.  You think it's a run, but it's not.  Perfectly acceptable in that sense.  Life goes on. And, she'll be ready for it next time.  When you've lost her number.

I stayed in Friday night and rented Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 for 99 cents, and spent my twenty dollars on a bottle of Patron.  That's really the play when you meet a busty Latina who's making your sandwich at Subway.  Hermina loves America Ferrera.  And, I love getting drunk.

1 District 9                  $37M $37M

2 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra  $22.5M $98.8M

3 The Time Traveler's Wife          $19.2M $19.2M

4 Julie & Julia                  $12.4M $43.7M

5 G-Force                          $6.91M $99M

6 The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard  $5.35M $5.35M

7 Harry Potter                  $5.16M $284M

8 The Ugly Truth            $4.5M $77.5M

9 Ponyo                  $3.51M $3.51M

10 500 Days of Summer          $3.02M $18M

--Posted by Casey, August 17--





































































































Things are always creepier when there's a mismatched eye involved...


Man, there's a bunch of stuff out this week.  I wish I wanted to see something other than District 9, because I'd pull the 'ol all day, pay for one movie, watch three or four routine.  Is it stealing?  The nerd who caught me seeing Wild Things a fourth time thought so (that's how long it's been since I've been caught.  Stickin' it to the man!).  I like to think of it as recouping some of the money I've lost from studios not buying my specs.  Man, I wish Obama would run a studio. We'd all be rollin' in it.  

Like I said, District 9 is where it's at this weekend.  It's one of those films you have to see on the big screen.  And, it's got crazy buzz.  It kind of reminds me of 300.  It kind of came out of nowhere and just blew up.  So, if you want to be cool, go see District 9 this weekend.  As a back up plan, take a girl to see Time Travelers Wife, and see if you can fall asleep with your eyes open.  I'm getting pretty good at it.  You're guaranteed to get some later on.  Not that I need to take the ladies to chick flicks to throw down the seduction.  I drive a Firebird and can touch my forehead with my tongue.  

That guitar documantary looks cool, but it's Netflix all the way.  Paying ten dollars to watch three dudes talk about guitars goes against my personal policy of not paying ten dollars to watch three dudes talk about guitars.  I just added that one to the list.

District 9 (Sharlto Copley, David James, Jason Cope): In Johannesburg, South Africa, a government operative (Copley) becomes sympathetic to the extraterrestrial race living in slum-like conditions within the city's borders when he is exposed to their biotechnology.  This is going to be wicked awesome, and watching it on a big screen television is kind of like not having a date to the prom.  Sucka.

The Time Traveler's Wife (Eric Bana, Rachel McAdams, Ron Livingston): A romantic drama about a Chicago librarian (Bana) with a gene that causes him to involuntarily time travel, and the complications it creates in his marriage.  If you're single guy and want to cruise chicks, go see this by yourself, sit behind a group of hotties, fake crying, then ask them if, "someone could hold you, just for a minute." Make sure you're handsome, though, or you might be posing for a mug shot.

The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (Jeremy Piven, Ving Rhames, David Koechner): Used-car liquidator Don Ready (Piven) is hired by a flailing auto dealership to turn their Fourth of July sale into a majorly profitable event.  Um, essentially Piven doing an Ari Gold impersonation for two hours.  If you're into that.  I'd rather get a colonic.

Ponyo [animated] (Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Liam Neeson): An animated adventure centered on a 5-year-old boy and his relationship with a goldfish princess who longs to become human.  Not sure what the deal is with this one.  Seems like hand drawn animation works on televison, where you're watching it for free and don't give a rat's ass, but when you pay ten bucks you expect CGI--or at least to sit in a massage chair.

Bandslam (Alyson Michalka, Vanessa Hudgens, Gaelan Connell): An outcast (Connell) bonds with the popular girl on campus (Michalka) over their shared love of music, and together they decide to form a rock group and enter their school's upcoming battle of the bands competition.After reading that description, I feel like someone gouged my eyes out with the claw end of a hammer.

Other films opening this weekend: Paper Heart [limited] (Michael Cera), It Might Get Loud [documentary] [limited] (Jimmy Page, The Edge, Jack White), Spread [limited] (Ashton Kutcher, Anne Heche), Grace [limited] (Jordan Ladd, Samantha Ferris, Gabrielle Rose), I Sell the Dead [LA/NY] (Dominic Monaghan, Ron Perlman).

--Posted by Casey, August 14-- 


































































































Has anyone seen Mickey Rourke?  The guy I worked with in 9 1/2 Weeks?  I can't find him anywhere...?

I'm not sure what the hell Kim Basinger is up to these days, but I'm sure about one thing; she's still wicked hot.  And, according to Variety, Kim Basinger is negotiating to join Zac Efron in The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud, whatever the hell that is.   I'm sure people on the project are taking bets on how long it takes Efron to "suggest" that they put Basinger's trailer next door to his.  So, they can "bond."  That's what'd I'd do.  Then I'd walk next door with a script, wearing a smoking jacket, and carrying a bottle of Courvoisier and two glasses.  Even though that's a lot carry.  So, I'd put it in one of those recyclable "fair trade" bags made in Africa out of plastic bottles.  God, I'm good.  Talk about shooting fish in a barrel.

It's reported that Basinger would play the grieving mother of Efron's character, a caretaker at a cemetery who has weekly meetings with a younger brother whose accidental death he feels was his fault.  Blah, blah, blah.  In a way, I'm happy about this.  One, it will have Kim Basinger.  Always a plus.  Two, it caused Efron to jump off of a Footloose remake to re-team with the guy who directed his last film, 17 Again.  Footloose should never be re-made.  Ever.  Unless it's with Megan Fox (go against the grain), and she's topless for 87.3% of the film (she can't be naked allthe time, dude).

Basinger just starred with Charlize Theron in The Burning Plain, where she, surprise, plays Theron's mother.  So, there's zero chance they'll make out.  Great.  Just great.

--Posted by Casey, August 13--


































































































Jokes?  I can write...I mean "make up out of thin air" own lousy jokes, thank you very much...

Since there will probably be another f-ing strike in 18 months (this is based on absolutely nothing, by the way) I'm going to say that the WGA is taking a, "We'll get him next time," approach to fining Jay Leno for writing his own monologue during the WGA work stoppage.  I'm pretty sure Leno is/was considered a writer, and writing your own monologue was techinically a clear violation of guild rules, but when you're jovial and have a protruding chin you can get away with murder.  Again, I've done zero research on this article, because I'm lazy.  And, I've already had a six pack of Sierra Nevada.  And, it's three o'clock PT.  I went to visit my Grandpa at his retirement home, and he starts drinking after dinner.  Which is at 2PM.

Anyway...I'm not sure why Leno got off easy, but a couple of other guys got pinched (I felt like using a mob term here really captured the moment).  According to the WGA, Jon Maas was found guilty of "performing writing services during the strike on a one-hour pilot teleplay" and would be assessed a fine equal to 110% of the compensation he received for penning the pilot.  Another member was found guilty "of refusing to cooperate with the Strike Rules Compliance Committee in connection with an investigation of prohibited writing services alleged to have been performed on (a) film."  His penalty wasn't disclosed, so they must've put him on double secret probation.  David Hensley, a non member, was permanently barred from joining the WGA after having been found guilty of "writing and submitting scripts to a struck company for a daytime serial."  That seems kinda harsh.  Couldn't we have just given the guy a massive melvin (that's a front wedgie) and called it a day?

According to Variety, Leno was questioned by a WGA West trial committee at length at least once in February. The committees consisted of five "rank-and-file" guild members.  So, I guess five writers thought these other dudes were jerk offs, but Leno didn't do anything wrong.  He just riffed those monologues.  Yeah, that's it.  Just riffed 'em.  

I like Jay Leno.  He's got a ton of sweet cars, and works really hard.  But, seriously, what the hell was his show doing on the air?  The guy makes a gazillion dollars a year.  Couldn't he have subsidized his staff (that was his big excuse, his people weren't working, wahhhh--neither was anyone else) with a pro-rated salary instead of making all of us look like a-holes?

I'm kinda drunk.

--Posted by Casey, August 12--





































































































The 'ol fork in the leg...always a gut films...that are funny...


According to the Hollywood Reporter Arrested Development creator/executive producer Mitch Hurwitz, and co-star Will Arnett are teaming up for a single-camera  comedy pilot for Fox.  That's good news to people like me, who loved Arrested Development, and wanted to sneak on the 20th lot and run over some Fox network execs with a golf cart after they cancelled the series.  This also comes as a surprise because there were rampant rumors that Fox execs wanted to run Hurwitz over with a golf cart when the show was on the air.   When your show is doing massive ratings you're eccentric.  When it's doing a 3.0 share, apparently you're psychotic and annoying.

It must not have been that bad working with 'ol Mitch, because Fox is right back in bed with him, developing a pilot with Arnett attached.  According to the Reporter, Arnett will play, "a rich Beverly Hills jackass who falls in love with a charitable tree-hugging woman who can't stand his lifestyle or values."  

It's probably a good thing that Arnett is gravitating back to television, where he earned Emmy noms for playing magician Gob Bluth on Arrested, and received a nod for his recent turn on 30 Rock. Arnett's post Development film career wasn't exactly... well... you probably saw the previews for Let's Go to Prison and had that feeling.  You know, the one where you see a TV star in a film trailer.  You know he or she needs a break out performance to get over the hump.  You're totally rooting for them.  And, you watch the trailer, and think, "Wow.  Okay.  That's not helping.  At all."

Joining the team will also be Arrested alum, and Co-Executive Producer Jim Vallely.  Hurwitz and Vallely wrote the "Righteous Brothers" episode of Development, and won a pair of Emmys back in '05.   

--Posted by Gary, August 11--

































































































 girls in latex holding guns...I'm starting to understand a little better why this film did so well...


So, I guess I have absolutely no judge of what people will want to see and what they won't because I'll be a farting rhinocerous if G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra didn't kill it at the box office this weekend.  I'm just sitting here looking at the number and mouthing the word 'whaaaaaaaa'?  Not that I expected Julie & Julia to be the number one film, or something.  I didn't.  At all.  

It's a good thing the movie we recommended, A Perfect Getaway, kicked so much ass at the...oh did 5.7 million, almost got beat by Aliens in the Attic, and came in seventh.

1 G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra          $56,200,000 $56,200,000

2 Julie & Julia                          $20,100,000 $20,100,000

3 G-Force                                  $9,804,000         $86,116,000

4 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince  $8,880,000         $273,800,000

5 Funny People                          $7,865,920         $40,417,240

6 The Ugly Truth                          $7,000,000         $69,088,000

7 A Perfect Getaway                          $5,764,530         $5,764,530

8 Aliens in the Attic                  $4,000,000         $16,292,893

9 Orphan                                           $3,730,000         $34,822,000

10 (500) Days of Summer                  $3,725,000         $12,342,563

--Posted by Todd, August 10--  


































































































Old Style and a Rolls Chicago...

Old news, I realize, but I was actually in Chicago (and the Burbs) this weekend driving on the Dan Ryan when I heard the news.  It seemed oddly appropriate.  

It would be a futile effort to try and describe what a bummer this is.  I grew up on John Hughes films.  In many ways they helped shape my adolescence.  The guy was absolutely brilliant.  It's a shame that he decided to leave Hollywood, and stop making movies.  But, maybe he was just done with it all.  Everything I've ever written, or wanted to write, is in many ways derivitive because of Ferris Beuller, 16 Candles, Breakfast Club, Vacation--everything I do is just me trying to live up to that stuff--and failing miserably.

See ya, John.  Thanks for everything.

--Posted by Todd, August 10-- 






































































































Go see Julie & Julia if you want to see Meyrl Streep do this for two least she won't get naked.


Well, it's not a great weekend for the movies unless you're just dying to see some of this stuff like Julie & Julia, or a G.I. Joe remake where Dennis Quaid scowls a lot.  Personally, I was just gonna stay in again and polish off a twelver with Oxsana, this Eastern European chick I met at the pool hall, but this Perfect Getaway is starting to make me think it might be worth stuffing a bottle of Grey Goose down my pants and sneaking in the back exit (only the best for her--she went through a lot to get to America and wants some help getting a green card).  The reviews on Getaway have actually been pretty good.

Cold Souls sounds a little interesting.  I like Paul Giamatti, but I'll keep it in the 'ol back pocket.  It's one of those I'll order on Netflix and watch when a I need someone to think I'm intellectual.  Oh, there's more to me than just this, honey.  Check this out. 

Julie & Julia: Secretary Julie Powell (Amy Adams) tries to shake up her life by chronicling her attempt to cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child's (played by Meryl Streep) Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year's time.  Based on the real-life Julie Powell, and her best seelling memoir Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen.  I'd rather have my eyes drilled with a Black & Decker cordless.  PASS

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra: An elite military unit comprised of operatives known as the Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity look to dismantle Cobra, an organization headed by a Scottish arms dealer.  Is this the best they could do for a G.I. Joe remake?  Seriously?   PASS

A Perfect Getaway: Two pairs of lovers (Zahn & Jovovich, Olyphant & Sanchez) on a Hawaiian vacation discover that psychopaths are stalking and murdering tourists on the islands.  If I hadn't read some good reviews, I wouldn't have cared.  But... MAYBE

Cold Souls (LA and NY only): Paul ({aul Giamatti) is an actor who feels bogged down by his participation in a production of Chekov's play, Vanya. His condition which leads him to an organization that will store his soul while he treads the boards, though complications arise when his soul goes missing. NETFLIX

Shorts: Toe Thompson's discovery of a colorful, wish-granting rock causes a stir in the suburban town of Black Falls, and grand-scale chaos occurs when the object falls... Gawd, are you still reading this? What's happened to Rober Rodriguez, and why is he directing this film?  PASS

--Posted by Casey, August 8--


































































































Hey, kids, Uncle Al is coming over for dinner...whaddaya mean you don't want to sit on his lap...?

Seems Pacino was unhappy with his new representation at the agency (he was with super/uber/czar agent Rick Nicita for 25 years), Chris Andrews, and decided to depart for ICM, the agency that got his career going.  Maybe they can rekindle the magic and stop Pacino from taking parts in films like Two for the Money (all this guy does is work out, and pick winners!!!).

I don't know about you guys, but this is kind of sweet in a way.  Like a prodigal son type of thing.  Of course, newly merged William Morris-Endeavor had to piss on the parade and plant the rumor that they "passed" on Pacino.  This might have been in response to the initial rumor planted by ICM that Pacino didn't want to meet with WME.

Ahh, Hollywood.  

Pacino released a statement, if people care.  We don't, really, but we do care about you guys, the readers.  See how much we care?

"I have been with CAA for over 25 years and almost all of that time I was represented by my long time agent and friend Rick Nicita. Since his departure from the agency a year ago, it has been a period of adjustment for me. CAA is a great agency, and I’m thankful to have been a part of it. They have done more than an admirable job picking up where I left off with Rick. However, we’ve all known that this was temporary to help me transition into the next phase of my life. I’m grateful to them."

ICM's Jeff Berg and John Burnham will now represent Al Pacino.  Soooo, if you're repped at ICM, give those guys a jingle, and pitch them your awesome idea for a Pacino movie.  Or, rather, pitch one of their assistants the idea, and if they like it they'll pass it along to Jeff and John, and maybe get back to you.  Or, maybe they won't.

They probably won't.

--Posted by Todd, August 7--  





































































































Apparently, Katherine Heigl wants you to know that she's romantic and funny.  Will someone tell her we get it already? 


In trying to keep the handsome co-star/romantic comedy train rolling, Katherine Heigl has reportedly lured Josh Duhamel (Transformers, Las Vegas) to her next project, Life as We Know It.  According to Variety, the pic, set up at Warner Brothers, is said to follow two unattached adults whose worlds are turned upside down when their mutual best friends die in an accident and name them as caregivers of their orphaned daughter.  Greg Berlanti will direct, with Barry Josephson and Paul Brooks producing, and Heigl and her mother (seriously, she's officially reached, "I said my Mom is a producer on this project!" diva level) Executive Producing.  The script was written by Ian Deitchman and Kristin Rusk Robinson.

Personally we'd have preferred Heigl step out on a ledge and take a bigger chance. Like Halle Berry did --in Monster's Ball.  When she was completely naked.  A lot.  Or, maybe she could have chosen a period piece--like Caligula.  

We're just throwing stuff out there. 

--Posted by Casey, August 6--





Harvey will kind of be like this...without the rabbit...but with the's just...oh, forget it...


Well, this should be interesting.  It seems after months of speculation, waiting in anticipation, whatever you want to call it--Steven Spielberg has chosen his next project.  The veteran helmer will direct a remake of the 1950 film, Harvey, which was based on Mary Chase's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1944 play about a man and an invisible giant rabbit.  According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film will be a DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox co-production--the studios last teamed up on Spielberg's Minority Report.  Novelist Jonathan Tropper wrote the script, which is said to revolve around the character originally played by Jimmy Stewart, Elwood P. Dowd, and his friendship with Harvey.  Tom Hanks is rumored to be interested in the part.

I don't know a whole lot about the 1950 movie, so I can't speak confidently about this 'reimagining,' or update, or whatever they call it these days.  As a huge Spielberg fan (we all are here at Angry Writer), it's a bit disappointing out of the gate.  I was really hoping for something original, but maybe Spielberg is like Kenny Rogers.  He's just too 'busy' to write his own songs anymore.  

Did I just compare Spielberg to Kenny Rogers?

Having your main character talk to something invisible for two hours also seems a bit odd, but hey, sometimes I pretend Marisa Millier is my wife, and we're happily married.  Soul mates, even.  Right Marisa?  Really?  I'm the most handsome, dynamic, intelligent man you're ever seen?  You always know just what to say, puddin'.

Rather than poop on this, we'll take a wait and see approach.  We all might be pleasantly surprised. Tom Hanks was able to make talking to a soccer ball for three hours interesting, so a gianttalking rabbit shouldn't be much of a chore.

--Posted by Gary, August 4-- 


































































































Poor box office numbers are often taken in stride by actors who are worth hundreds of millions of dollars...

Look for Judd Apatow's next film to be two and a half hours of F bombs, burping, and farting--with some vagina jokes thrown in to attract a female audience.  Because this kind of performance, particularly with Adam Sandler attached to your film, is not going to keep you on the VIP list at Club Studio Gross Points.  It's obvious what happened here--from Friday to Sunday.  People saw Funny People and told their friends to avoid it like cottage cheese at a Sizzler salad bar.  

Nikki Rocco, Universal Distrib Chief knows Funny is going to have legs like Mini Me, but tried to sound upbeat--the Hollywood kiss of death.  "We are dealing with something that's a bit different from the norm, so I'm very optimistic about how this will play out." 

Um... that doesn't even make sense, really, but okay.

Nikki--accoring to me, we're on a first name basis--might be talking about the lack of competition the next two weeks at the box office, as the poop parade at the theaters continues.  Unless you find yourself excited about Julie & Julia, G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra (uh...what?), District 9, or Time Travelers Wife.

Yeah--we didn't think so.

1 Funny People (2009)                 $23.4M $23.4M

2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) $17.7M $255M

3 G-Force (2009)                 $17.1M $66.5M

4 The Ugly Truth (2009)                 $13M $54.5M

5 Aliens in the Attic (2009)                 $7.8M $7.8M

6 Orphan (2009)                         $7.25M $26.8M

7 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)         $5.3M $182M

8 The Hangover (2009)                 $5.08M $256M

9 The Proposal (2009)                         $4.85M $149M

10 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) $4.6M $388M

--Posted by Casey, August 3--





































































































If you could harness the love in this movie poster, you could... probably do something useful with it... maybe...


Is it summer?  Really?  It is?  I thought it was, like, February or March, or something.  Because the past few weeks the movies have been terrible.  Maybe that's because they start the summer movie season in April now.   When half the country is still getting blizzards.  By July and August, studios are trying to fool us.  "No, no, it's still summer!   Look!  It's a Judd Apatow movie!  And, a bunch of... other stuff we hope makes money!" 

Funny People

Adam Sandler is dying.  But, he just can’t stop being funny.  Why?  Because, he’s a funny person, that’s why.  And, see he has no friends.  None.  So, he befriends this guy, and… wait, did I just nod off there?  I did.  I almost fell asleep.  I almost laid on my computer keyboard like a pillow.  Seriously.

So, I guess Judd Apatow has gotten sick of being the comedy Golden Boy already, and wants to do some sappy ‘I love you, man,’ dramedy.  Personally, I like it better when Adam Sandler is farting and beating the crap out of Bob Barker.  I just don’t get all this ‘I want to do something meaningful’ stuff.  I think Brian Dennehy said it best when talking about how Chris Farley (who he worked with in Tommy Boy) was always wanting to do all these dramatic projects and studios were like, “Um, yeah, that looks great and all, but how about this movie where you run into things and rip through clothes that are ten sizes too small.”  Farley asked Dennehy for advice about how to get studios to let him do a film where he takes care of orphaned bunnies, or something, and Dennehy said, “Why the hell would you want to be the 20th best dramatic actor in Hollywood when you can be the best comedy actor?”  And, of course, that quote is from a Playboy article.  Because, I read the articles.  You can only look at the pictures so long.

Why is Apatow trying to be the twentieth best dramatic director when he was dominating Hollywood with comedy?  PASS

Aliens in the Attic

A bunch of CGI aliens take over some kids’s vacation home, and they have to get it back.  Unless you’re six, you’re probably going to take a pass on this one.  And, even six year olds know when a movie looks terrible.  I think this was a straight to video that somehow got into the theatrical release pile, and someone was too embarrassed to admit they made a mistake.  Like that time this kid who used to wet his pants all the time thought he was invited to my birthday party, and I didn’t have the heart to tell him.  He also brought a gift that was in a huge box, so… I was like, “Hey, man……. you’re here……. glad you could make it……. too bad you can’t stay very long, right…?  PASS


A “quirky” romantic comedy that “turned heads” at Sundance in 2009.  If you want to pay $10 to see an independent, artsy movie.  I’m buying a 12 pack of PBR and a bag of Funyons--and watching Slap Shot with my new “girlfriend” from Minneapolis who doesn’t like to wear a bra.  My A/C will be on 58.  PASS

Other films we won’t be seeing this weekend:  The Cove (documentary about dolphins), The Collector (heist movie where two thieves want to steal the same thing), Thirst (vampire movie directed by some Asian dude).

--Posted by Casey, July 31--






































































































The Spiel before production insurance became en vogue...


If I had 1/100th of the career Steven Spielberg has had, I would be able to die with tons of hot, nude women by my side.  That's the dream, at least.  Of course, the whole construct kind of depends on me making a film someday that wasn't shot on a hand held camcorder.  Because I can't afford a tri-pod.  Okay, I can afford one, I just don't want to buy one.  If chicks ask me, "I thought you said this was an artsy film," I just respond that hand held is the style these days, and convert it to black and white.  

So, everyone seems to be on pins and needles about what Steven Spielberg is going to do next. Personally, I find myself kind of interested as well.  But, not out of excitement.  

Almost out of dread.  

Like any trained investigative entertainment journalist, I looked into it.  Okay--it took me about an hour to comb through all the stuff he has in development, or is 'rumored' to be interested in, or 'might' be attached to--I've seen Chinese take-out menus with less options.  One of the things that's been weird is that The Spiel, as I like to call him, has been all over the place for awhile. Just look at his last ten films that he has directed.  Jurrasic Park: The Lost World (1997), Amistad (1997), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Artificial Intelligence (2001), Minority Report (2002), Catch Me if You Can (2002), The Terminal (2004), War of the Worlds (2005), Munich (2005), Indiana Jones 4 (2008).  There was a string there where he was seriously just crawling up actor's butts.  And, that's pretty unlike the Spiel.  It's almost as if he has been getting off track.  Like when U2 tried to do that techno album.

Now, there are rumors that he might direct a Bourne Identity type film that's set up at Paramount called Matt Helm.  I don't know, I guess it's just weird when the coolest kid in school starts trying to be like everyone else.  You're the coolest kid, dude.  You're supposed to be doing stuff that makes us want to be like you.

Maybe it's just because I grew on his brilliant films like Jaws, Close Encounters, E.T.--films that were distinctly him and had this emotional identity that drew you in.  I mean, I was scared to go in the water for years, even though I knew there weren't sharks in fresh water.  What has Spileberg done since Schindler's List and Jurrassic Park that has made you feel that way?  Like, you're sitting there in the theater and saying, "Dude, this is a Spielberg film.  No one else could do this."  Saving Private Ryan and Munich kind of felt that way.  Kind of.  It's almost like the stuff he's been doing--any talented director could have done it.  

Like Spielberg is becoming--Ron Howard.

I'm not ripping on The Spiel at all (or, Ron Howard, for that matter--he's wicked talented--he just does all kinds of stuff).  I just wish he'd get back to making the kinds of films that make us all appreciate him as a director.  That leave a lasting impression on us.  

I wish he'd stop making techno albums.

--Posted by Casey, July 30--


The innovative Silverman introduced NBC to cool things like wearing brown pants while riding a beach cruiser...

When Ben Silverman was hired as Co-Chairman of NBC Entertainment, a lot of people in Hollywood gave it a huge WTF?  Not because Silverman wasn't successful.  He was.  Reveille, the company he started, was doing some serious business with the Peacock (The Office, The Biggest Loser), and at least superficially, it made some sense.  But, running a network is a lot different than running your own company--where you make the rules.  Anyone who has worked at NBC knows it's a strakly corporate environment.  And, the free wheeling Silverman seemed like an odd fit.  

Frankly, I'm surprised it lasted this long.  His days seemed numbered from the start. 

So, off Silverman goes into the wild blue yonder again.  He'll try to rekindle the success he had at Reveille--launching a new company with Barry Diller's IAC  that the two claim will "unite producers, creators, advertisers and distributors under one roof."  

Uh, okay.

In the end, it's not like NBC is any better or worse off because of Silverman.  It's kind of like the Pontiac Aztec.  NBC was trying to be all innovative, and cool, but no one was buying it.  So, if you hired me, and said, "Make this Pontiac Aztec into a truly remarkable car," really, how far could I get trying to improve a hideous looking SUV with eighteen headlights?  

And, that's what NBC is right now.  A Pontiac Aztec.

--Gary, July 27--


I wouldn't mind Katherine Heigl having a liiiiiittle more freetime...

For years, I've been thinking Katherine Heigl was an unappreciative little brat who needed a spanking, but after seeing the opening numbers for Ugly Truth, I've come to the conclusion that perhaps she's on to something.  It's not like other cast members of Grey's Anatomy are opening films with 27 million.  Even Patrick Dempsey has not had the level of success Heigl has had, and most women, including my wife, would drop their pants for him in a heart beat.  Are Heigl's movies inventive and awesome?  Not really.  They're derivative, cutesy, and the trailers give me reflux.  But, female audiences seem to like her.  For now, she's stuck with the yoke around her neck on Grey's Anatomy, working those woeful 17-hour days.  I'm almost starting to feel sorry for Heigl--that the show won't just kill her off.  She's going to have to do an 'artsy' film with some major nudity to get me to pick up a protest sign, though.

G-Force was number one:

1 G-Force (2009) $32.2M $32.2M

2 Harry Potter: Half-Blood Prince (2009) $30M $222M

3 The Ugly Truth (2009) $27M $27M

4 Orphan (2009)         $12.8M $12.8M

5 Ice Age: Dinosaurs (2009) $8.2M $171M

6 Transformers: Revenge (2009) $8M $379M

7 The Hangover (2009) $6.46M $247M

8 The Proposal (2009)         $6.42M $140M

9 Public Enemies (2009) $4.17M $88.1M

10 Brüno (2009)         $2.72M $56.5M

--Posted by Gary, July 27--


It's sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo hard to find a decent guy.  Someone help me!

This is a new feature on Angry Writer where we talk about the weekend's new releases.  I'll be experiencing a special kind of release in Koreatown later today, but Todd, the site owner, told me to stop making so many sexual comments, so I can't get into it... 

I guess the big thing coming out (again, films, not talking about my impending experience at the massage parlor) is probably this rodent film, G Force.  I have a bunch of nieces and nephews that are dying to go see this.  It's Jerry Bruckheimers first attempt at a CGI rodent film.  I have mixed feelings on it.  The first few trailers I saw were worse than my Uncle Barry's plumbers crack at a Labor Day BBQ.  They basically consisted of Tracy Jordan (the black Guinea Pig, imagine that) standing around saying a bunch of stupid stuff, and sounding like he'd just huffed varnish fumes.  Now, they have some female rodent character with a sort of nondescript foreign accent who threatens to bite kids fingers off.  I don't know, I'm probably just bitter because no one liked my possum film, Poseur Possum, about a possum who wants to be really cool, but the cool possums won't accept him.  So he pays a cool female possum to pretend she likes him.  Is it Can't Buy Me Love, with possums?  Yeah.  It is.  As if Cars wasn't Doc Hollywood with cars.  But, that was "Pixar."  La dee f-ing da.

I guess with any kids movie, especially this one, you just have to do a one hitter before you pick your nieces and nephews up to take them to the cineplex.  And, don't judge me.  I drive worse when I'm drunk.  I'm still considering whether or not I want to stuff three annoying kids in my Firebird, and lay out about fifty dollars in popcorn, candy, and soda.  Because my Uncle Barry never has any money.  It's always "tied up in his brokerage account."  Uh, okay.  MAYBE

Also coming out this weekend is The Ugly Truth, the Katherine Heigl movie.  Here's how it's discribed: a romantically challenged morning show producer (Heigl) is reluctantly embroiled in a series of outrageous tests by her chauvinistic correspondent (Butler) to prove his theories on relationships and help her find love. His clever ploys, however, lead to an unexpected result. I just barfed in my mouth and swallowed it.  Hmm, wonder what the result could be?  Maybe Gerard giving her a multiple orgasm, and getting her to loosen up?  I just don't buy these hot, romantically challenged women movies.  If you put America Ferrera in this, maybe I'd be like, uh, yeah, she needs some help.  But, someone like Katherine Heigl would get hit on 3,954, 612 times a day.  She could find a guy faster than the Millenium Falcon can hit lightspeed.  $5000 dollars says Heigl won't even have a decent nipple slip in this thing, either.  PASS

Another one making it's way to theaters this week is Orphan.  I've seen creepier things at Walmart.  Seriously.  Usually with a horror film you get some nudity, but this Russian adoptee is 9 years old (even though she's eleven in real life).  That's really unappealing for at least the next nine years. I mean, if you really want to go see a horror film this weekend, okay.  But, you could spend your money in much better ways.  Ten bucks buys a lot of White Castle.  Or, a giant marker.  PASS.

Other films opening this weekend that we won't be seeing: The Answer Man (Jeff Daniels), Shrink (Kevin Spacey), and In the Loop (Tony Soprano as a military dude).


Is it possible to lose your virginity to a video game character?  According to Blaine, the IT guy, yes, it is...

If you could bottle the collective giddiness of nerds across the universe, you could easily power the desktop computers of a World of Warcraft raid group for weeks.  Rumors about a World of Warcraft film have been around for a very long time, and it looks like Legendary Pictures, vidgame publisher Blizzard Entertainment, and Warner Bros. (the studio will co-finance with Legendary and distribute the pic) have found their director in Sam Raimi.  The Spidey helmer has officially signed on for the live-action adaptation and will team up with Dark Knight producer Charles Roven.

According to Variety, the plan is for Raimi to supervise development of "Warcraft" and shoot the picture after he completes work on Spider-Man 4, which gets under way early next year for Columbia Pictures.  "At its core, Warcraft is a fantastic, action-packed story," Raimi said in a gushing, moving, lengthy, prepared statement. 

The "Warcraft" universe is said to be highly quest oriented, and feature the Horde and the Alliance locked in an epic conflict.  I would have absolutely no idea, because I don't play it.  I had to Wikipedia it, then ask one of the IT guys for clarification.  According to 'Blaine,' I'm a loser, because 'they've' been talking about the film's announcement for weeks on a 'WoW' message board.  Okay.

"Warcraft is emblematic of the kind of branded, event films for which our studio is best known," said Warner Bros. Pictures Group president Jeff Robinov, while probably salivating on himself. 

Hey, don't get me wrong here.  I'm sure Warners and Raimi will do a great job with this and spend a gazillion dollars on it.  So that's great for the audience.  It's just, personally, I'm still waiting on my Space Invaders film.

--Posted by Gary, July 22-


If your Dad owned Warner Bros. you probably wouldn't be driving a Hyundai Accent...

As most of us know, it's still pretty tough out there right now.  Unemployment continues to climb like that little Swiss dude on the Price is Right game, Cliff Hangers (that dude was awesome).  Studios are slashing budgets like never before.  As a result, writers, directors and actors are making less.  The studios are making... oh wait... the studios are still making a lot of money.  

According to good 'ol Variety, Paramount and now Warner Bros. have just passed the one billion mark. Seven Warners films have led a weekend this year, and reaching the $1 billion mark in 192 days is a record for them.  In a recession.  When they are slashing costs.  And, trying desperately to be profitable.  Glad I could help you out by not selling a spec to you, guys (although I was thnking about sending my animated 'possum' film script to them--the possum is a very underrepresented rodent).

Harry Potter and The Hangover have helped.  And, I'm sure Todd Phillips didn't have to take a 75% pay cut.  So, good for him.  Because the WGA gets 1.5% of that sweet comedy empire, and it helps pay my insurance.  I haven't sold dick this year, and I've been to the clinic twice (with undisclosed 'illnesses').  Hangover has become the highest-grossing R-rated comedy ever with more than $235 million, and Harry Potter just had it's best ever opening. 

Still, Warners couldn't beat Paramount to the one billion mark.  Paramount (or, 'The Mount' as I've been calling them) passed that mark waaaaay back in early July.  That's got to sting a little Warners.  Getting beaten by Paramount. 

That's kind of like dating a cheerleader after the captain of the football team took her virginity in his Dad's conversion van and dumped her.  Which never happened to me.  I never dated cheerleaders.  I only dated goth chicks.

--Posted by Casey, July 21--


This picture would be 50-75% less cool without the thumb on the cheek pose...

Somewhere, Warner Bros. executives are huddled up, talking about how the latest installment of their child wizard franchise just went off like Swayze did on that dude who had a razor blade in his shoe.  Maybe it seems weird to associate a bunch of kids with a movie like Roadhouse, but Emma Watson is of age now... so... you know what that means.  Can they ship my Firebird to London?

Potter did crazy numbers for the extended weekend ($160 mil domestically), and even set a record for overseas moulah ($400 mil).  That's like, Saudi Arabian royal family spending money for a shopping trip in New York City.

In other news, Bruno dropped like a bag of toxic waste, and The Hangover and The Proposal just keep sticking around like my Uncle Barry when he passes out at Dave & Busters.  You can't blame him.  I'd get wasted too if I'd just gotten my ass handed to me at ski ball like that.  Barry, if you're reading this, I destroyed you, dude!  Beat down!!!

Box office:

1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)  $79.5M     $160M
2 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)     $17.7M     $152M
3 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)     $13.8M     $364M
4 Brüno (2009)                 $8.37M     $49.6M
5 The Hangover (2009)             $8.31M     $236M
6 The Proposal (2009)             $8.29M     $128M
7 Public Enemies (2009)             $7.59M     $79.5M
8 Up (2009)                 $3.15M     $280M
9 My Sister's Keeper (2009)             $2.83M     $41.5M
10 I Love You, Beth Cooper (2009)         $2.67M     $10.3M 

--Posted by Casey, July 20--




"Family Guy

"Flight of the Conchords"

"How I Met Your Mother"

"The Office"

"30 Rock"



"Big Love"

"Breaking Bad"





"Mad Men"


Alec Baldwin - "30 Rock" (NBC) 

Steve Carell - "The Office" (NBC)

Jemaine Clement - "Flight Of The Conchords" (HBO) 

Jim Parsons - "The Big Bang Theory" (CBS)

Tony Shalhoub - "Monk" (USA)

Charlie Sheen - "Two And A Half Men" (CBS)


Simon Baker - "The Mentalist" (CBS) 

Gabriel Byrne - "In Treatment" (HBO)

Bryan Cranston - "Breaking Bad" (AMC)

Michael C. Hall - "Dexter" (Showtime)

Jon Hamm - "Mad Men" (AMC)

Hugh Laurie - "House" (Fox)


Christina Applegate - "Samantha Who?" (ABC) 

Toni Collette - "United States Of Tara" (Showtime) 

Tina Fey - "30 Rock" (NBC) 

Julia Louis-Dreyfus - "The New Adventures Of Old Christine" (CBS) 

Sarah Silverman - "The Sarah Silverman Program" (Comedy Central) 

Mary-Louise Parker - "Weeds" (Showtime)


Glenn Close as Patty Hewes - "Damages" (FX Networks) 

Sally Field - "Brothers & Sisters" (ABC) 

Holly Hunter - "Saving Grace" (TNT) 

Mariska Hargitay - "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC)

Kyra Sedgwick - "The Closer" (TNT) 

Elisabeth Moss - "Mad Men" (AMC) 


Jon Cryer - "Two And A Half Men" (CBS)

Kevin Dillon - "Entourage" (HBO) 

Neil Patrick Harris - "How I Met Your Mother" (CBS) 

Jack McBrayer - "30 Rock" (NBC) 

Tracy Morgan - "30 Rock" (NBC) 

Rainn Wilson - "The Office" (NBC)


Christian Clemenson - "Boston Legal" (ABC) 

Michael Emerson - "Lost" (ABC) 

William Hurt - "Damages" (FX Networks) 

Aaron Paul - "Breaking Bad" (AMC)

William Shatner - "Boston Legal" (ABC) 

John Slattery - "Mad Men" (AMC)


Kristin Chenoweth - "Pushing Daisies" (ABC) 

Jane Krakowski - "30 Rock" (NBC)

Elizabeth Perkins - "Weeds" (Showtime) 

Amy Poehler - "Saturday Night Live" (NBC) 

Kristen Wiig - "Saturday Night Live" (NBC) 

Vanessa Williams - "Ugly Betty" (ABC)


Rose Byrne - "Damages" (FX Networks) 

Hope Davis - "In Treatment" (HBO) 

Cherry Jones - "24" (Fox)

Sandra Oh - "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC) 

Dianne Wiest - "In Treatment"

Chandra Wilson - "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC) 


Oh, no no, I'll totally retract these before I apply your eyeliner... geez...

Hmm... let's see... Hugh Jackman is ripped... he likes to dance and sing... and when he's on The View he uses the word 'fabulous' about seven hundred times.  Now he's going to star in a movie about a dude who loses his job and starts selling Avon.  I can't think of a better way for this guy to combat rumors about being in the closet.  For his next project, maybe he should play Liberace.  


I have lots of gay friends--mostly dudes who always seem to follow me into the sauna at Bally's--so I'm not being homophobic.  I'm just saying--the rumors are out there.  Floating around.  On a cloud of cashmere and lavender.

There have been about 8 million of these projects around town, for years.  The most high profile being Into the Pink, which had Tim Allen attached, and was about a guy selling Mary Kay.  It was totally cock blocking me for years while I shopped my idea, Good Vibrations, about a priest who starts selling female sex toys to help out orphans.  Well, the bishop gets wind of the whole deal, and it's a real whizzbang, as you can imagine.  But, in the end the Pope realizes he was trying to do good and reverses his excommunication.  Of course, the priest tells them all to pound sand, leaves the order, and starts dating a stripper.  God, I'm good.

Anyway, 20th Century Fox paid a gazillion dollars for this pitch from writer Kevin Bisch (Hitch), so they must've wanted to be in biz with Hugh Jackman pretty badly.  According to Variety the story is going to be about guys who are laid off from an auto dealership. One, Jackman, is enlisted to sell Avon.  Wait for it... he isn't crazy about it at first, but then he realizes he can usehis charm and good looks to become a top seller. Then he gets all of his buddies to start selling make-up too, so they can win a regional contest.  Weee!  

Missing from this article is the news that a hot actress like Salma Hayek is on board, and she'll be wearing lycra 90% of the time.

--Posted by Casey, July 15--


Losing the frosted tips was a pivotal career decision...

I never really thought about being a televison host until this morning when I read Variety and found out Ryan Seacrest is going to make $15 mil a year for the next 3 three years to host American Idol and trade homophobic barbs with Simon Cowell (who is apparently going to make $100 million a year, and will be able to afford a lot more v-neck shirts and sweaters).  To think, I've wasted fifteen years writing spec screenplays when I could have been putting product in my hair, wearing really tight suits, and creating a radio and television empire. 

According to creator Simon Fuller, "[Seacrest] is an essential ingredient to 'American Idol's' success."  That's Hollywood speak for, "we're afraid if we find someone else who's cheaper, the ratings will go down faster than a porn star."

This is actually a good strategy on Seacrest's part.  He's already doing fifteen jobs, and must've been getting career advice from a Jamaican immigrant.  He has a multi-year with Comcast, and produces and hosts several shows for E! (he serves as anchor and managing editor of the cablers evening news program), has a morning and weekly radio show.  What he needs is to get paid more for doing less.  That's the American way, man.  Especially if you're in a union, or you work at the DMV.

There's no word yet on what the other judges will be getting paid, but my guess is, it'll be substantiually less.  A giant hawk could come down and carry the other three judges away, and people would probably be, like, "Aw, that hawk totally swooped in and took the other three judges away.  That's sad.  Anyway..."

--Posted by Gary--


For the record, as I have stated previously, I don't care about box office numbers, but since someone is paying me to slap together this article every week, how about a hypocritical observation.  I actually thought Bruno would make more money.  There, I'm done.  Whatevs. Back to not caring.

1. Brüno (2009)   $30.4M  $30.4M

2. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009) $28.5M  $121M

3. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) $24.2M  $339M

4. Public Enemies (2009)   $14.1M  $66.5M

5. The Proposal (2009)   $10.5M  $114M

6. The Hangover (2009)   $9.93M  $222M

7. I Love You, Beth Cooper (2009) $5M  $5M

8. Up (2009)   $4.66M  $274M

9. My Sister's Keeper (2009)   $4.18M  $35.8M

10. Night at the Museum: Smithsonian (2009) $1.52M  $171M

--Posted by Casey, July 13--



































































































This beaver likes to rock the the tail in front look...don't player hate...

I know this is sophomoric, but I logged on to Variety this morning and saw the headline, 'Mel Gibson to Star in Beaver; Jodie Foster to Co-Star, Direct.'  If this is going over your head, for some reason, traditionally, certain folks have associated a woman's genitalia with the woodland creature who builds dams and naws on tree bark... Jodie Foster is gay... it... uh... well... I'll just stop.  Let's say I just envision a lot of tasteless jokes flying around Hollywood this AM.   Which, according to my personal Human Resources reference manual would be catagorized as, "Possibly offensive/proceed with caution."

What's even more strange is, this used to be a Jay Roach/Steve Carell project (and Jim Carrey was also interested).  Is Mel Gibson funny?  Sure.  He was a lot funnier before the anti-semitism, public drunkeness, and his dumping his wife for a younger woman.

According to Variety Gibson will play, "a depressed man who finds solace in wearing a beaver hand-puppet."  Foster will play his wife.  I'd really like to read this script before I offer any further comment.  From what I "hear," it's actually pretty funny, and topped the Black List of unproduced screenplays for 2008.  but according to 'someone' I spoke with who actually read and liked the script, it's, "Not really suited to this pairing."

That's what an executive says when they think a good project is destined for suckitude.

--Posted by Gary, July10-- 

































































































For the people out there who are excited about Will Forte taking his SNL character, MacGruber, to the big screen, this must be fantastic news.  Me, I'm way more interested in seeing how they plan to make a movie out of a parody skit that typically lasts about 30 seconds, and ends with the main character killing everyone.  I guess Variety forgot to ask Lorne Michaels about that wiiiittle issue.  Thankfully, Kristen Wiig will be playing her Vicki character for the film.  She can be really funny at times on the show.  And somehow, Val Kilmer and Ryan Phillippe are rumored to be interested as well.  I thought maybe that might've been a misprint, then I IMDB'd the two of them, and not.  Forte and fellow SNLers Jorma Taccone and John Solomon will pen the script, and Taccone will direct.

There have been a lot of these films: Wayne's World, The Ladies Man, Coneheads, Superstar, Stuart Saves His Family and A Night at the Roxbury.  I'm not trying to crap on SNL, but some of these movies have kind of been like my Uncle Barry arm pit farting at Thanksgiving every year.  It's hilarious at first, but then he takes his shirt off, and it just gets desperate and nauseating.

I'd love nothing more than to see Will Forte do well, because he's a really funny dude, but I have my reservations.  Watching Coneheads was like being in county lock up after you get a DUI, and a Hell's Angel named Bruce wants to lay his head in your lap.  

--Posted by Casey, July 8-- 

































































































In Germany, this photo would be at least twice as large...

You know, I've always wanted to direct something other than homeade porn.  I mean, any writer wants to direct.  But, I've always wanted to direct a big time Hollywood film.  Not some crap I wrote that will probably go straight to DVD.  A set with tons of extras, a craft service table that doesn't look worse than a salad bar at Sizzler, and hopefully an assistant named Svetlana who barely speaks English and likes to give back rubs.

Well, maybe I can live vicariously through Jeremy Garelick (The Break Up), because according to Variety, this guy just scored the motherlode.  His first directing project will be a film adaptation of the television series Baywatch.  That's right, Garelick will spend months surrounded by hot chicks with huge boobs who hang on his every word.  "Uh, Jeremy, sweetie, I can't decide between the string bikini, and the micro-string bikini.  What do you think?"  As I'm sitting here right now, I'm wondering if his doctor is going to subscribe anti-erection medication for him.

This project has been around for awhile, and even though I generally hate remakes, I'd like to see this.  And, it's not just the hot chicks in bathing suits running in slow motion thing, either.  Well, okay it is.  

Garelick was originally hired to punch-up the script, even though he'd never seen the original TV show. However, he's watched the Pam and Tommy Lee video at least six times for "research."

"It felt like the template to do a movie that was similar to 'Stripes' and 'Police Academy,' the comedies I loved growing up," Garelick said. "Rather than trying to pitch the tone, I figured it would be easier to write the first act to convey who these characters were," Garelick said.

The script is said to focus on two unlikely candidates trying to make lifeguard.  So, it's Stripes on a beach.  I can deal with that.

Pray for nudity. 

--Posted by Casey, July 7--

































































































 If you had sensitive teeth, this would be even more perilous... 

So, Transformers and Ice Age III tied at the box office this weekend.  Apparently, that's gigantic global news, because it's all over the place, right along with Michael Jackson, and the investigation to find out what exactly happened to Bubbles the chimp (what the hell did happen to him, anyway?).

I've never really understood why anyone who isn't directly involved with a film that is opening, or has opened, really cares about box office numbers.  People in Hollywood universally hate my specs, so it doesn't really matter if Transformers makes 100 million, or 200 hundred million.  All my stuff gets covered, and the commentary comes back with stuff like, "would rather have my toenails pulled off with needle nose plyers than read something from this writer again."  I mean, is it really necessary to be that harsh?  My roommate was hammered a few months ago, stubbed his toe, and ripped his big toenail off.  He had to go to the free clinic, and cried like a kid who got dress socks for Christmas.  I asked him, and he said that was a lot worse than reading one of my scripts.  

So... there.

If you talk to executives on Mondays, and ask them what kinds of projects they're looking for, it's even more annoying.  But, I still do it.  Because, according to my therapist, I have, "loads of unresolved issues."  Well, if I resolved them, what would I do on Thursday afternoons, lady?  Execs will say, "We're looking for our Ice Age.  Or, our Transformers.  Or, our Public Enemies."  Oh, really?  You mean you're looking for a project similar to the movie that just opened with 45 mil?  Wow.  Shocker.  Even though the movie you're buying, based on this successful film, won't be in theaters for, like, three years?  Okay.  Then, the next week it's something different.  Last week it was, "We're looking for, "our Proposal."  The week before that it was, "our Hangover (actually one of my scripts was recently described as, "Like The Hangover, only it's awful)."  It's like trying to sell something to Robin Williams during a coked upTonight Show appearance.  

Man, I'm bitter.  I'd check into rehab if I had insurance (gee, thanks for the universal health care President Obama). 

In other news, the Public Enemies opening was the best ever for a Michael Mann directed film.  Was it because of our awesome preview, or the fact that Johnny Depp, his uber coolness, was starring in the film?  The world will never know, but I will say this: I once had a stalker in college (granted, it was a dude who worked with me part-time at Banana Republic, but I took it as a huge compliment), so monsieur Depp isn't the only attractive guy in this equation.  

Here's the weekend top ten, so you can uselessly torture yourself and/or drink a twelve pack of Stroh's:

1. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs $42.5M $67.5M

2. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen $42.5M $293M

3. Public Enemies $26.2M $41M

4. The Proposal $12.8M $94.2M

5. The Hangover $10.4M $204M

6. Up $6.58M $265M

7. My Sister's Keeper $5.25M $26M

8. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 $2.5M $58.5M

9. Year One $2.1M $38.1M

10. Night at the Museum: Smithsonian $2.1M $168M

--posted by Casey, July7-- 


I'm married and have a kid, so I don't go see movies at the theater anymore.  It sucks, but when faced with paying a babysitter so I can go out to dinner and see a movie with my wife, frugality generally wins out.  Hell, I can buy a movie for what I'd pay to see a matinee.  All things considered (my favorite NPR program, by the way--God, I'm a dork), waiting for the DVD to come out, ordering the film du jour on netflix, dialing up a pizza, and watching it on my flat screen HD television with surround sound is a much better proposition.  

But, the waiting is always the hardest part.

You'd think, out of all the films that have come out, or are due to come out this summer, it would not be Public Enemies that has me considering laying out some cash to take a trip to the cineplex.  But, over the years I've developed a deep appreciation for Mann's films.   Heat was what got the ball rolling.  I thought Last of the Mohicans was a great film, and was beautifully shot.  But, Heat just blew me away.  I remember watching the bank heist shootout scene in the theater and thinking, holy shit this amazing.  I mean, it's one thing to write a scene like that that, but to make it look that good?  I think about great action sequences in films in the part twenty years that don't use special effects (there's a scene in the Matrix II that goes on for about 15 minutes that always makes my chin hit the floor), and wonder, what has been done that's better than that scene?  Well, seeing as how Public Enemies is about bank robber John Dillinger, there's bound to be some similar, cinematically appealing action.

Mann's films certainly haven't made a lot of money, and that has probably held him back somewhat as a filmmaker.  But The Insider, Ali, and Collateral all have satisfied audiences (and critics) on a creative level.  Public Enemies won't be any different.  Reviews have been stellar, but the film follows Transformers, and also opens up with an Ice Age sequel.  This shoud be a good test for Mann's bankability as a helmer, especially with Johnny Depp as his star.  Oh, and don't think for a second that 'ol Edward Scissorhands being in this flick doesn't factor in to the equation.  For the first time in years my wife perked up, and said, "Ooh, that looks good."  You mean Johnny Depp looks good.  I get it.  I'm about as hetero a guy as they make, but Depp makes me contemplate having ovaries installed, so I can have his baby and get crazy child support.

There's just something about Michael Mann as a filmmaker.  I think it's that, as a dramatic director, he's old school.  Much like Scorcese, he still relies on the lens, instead of a computer, to tell his story.  It's no wonder actors like Dinero, Pacino, Depp, Crowe, and Cruise would wait in a Russion bread line to work to work with him.

Mann is, simply put, a filmmaker's filmmaker.

--Posted by Gary, July 1-- 

































































































I love the movie Roadhouse, so of course, any chance I get to throw it in a news story, I'm going downtown like James Brown.  Swayze was so awesome until he made out with Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost.  It  was all downhill from there.  I wonder what that pre-scene conversation was like:

Swayze: who am I making out with again?  

Director: that very funny black woman with the dreds.

Swayze: the one who looks like Lenny Kravitz had a love child with Bill Cosby and stuffed its bra?  

Director: it's in your contract.  You have to do it.

Swayze: is it cool if I funnel a fifth of tequila and throw up in her mouth?

Director: no one would blame you.

Anyway, Transformers made a ridiculous amount of money at the box office this weekend, despite a lot of reviews that criticized it for being "light on story."  Hey--wait a minute.  A sequel that has less story than the original film?  That's preposterous.  Next you're going to tell me that 2 1/2 Men relies heavily on sexual humor (itreally does, man).  I'm not too sure what these critics expected.  It's not like the original was Total cereal, and just chock full of story.  It was well done, and everything, but with all of those special effects, I didn't really care.  It came damn close to eclipsing Dark Knight, which is no easy feat.  

Which brings me back to Roadhouse (because Transformers is really Roadhouse with giant, CGI, transforming robot/giants, and Dark Knight is Roadhouse with Batman).  That movie didn't have a particularly compelling story.  It was just kick ass.  I wasn't expecting it to get an Academy Award for best screenplay.  Were you?

Oh, and My Sister's Keeper opened as an "alternative" to the giant, blockbuster film with no story.  It raked in a grand total of 12.4 mil.  I like Cameron Diaz, but dude, she really needs to start doing more movies where she doesn't wear a bra, or something.  Maybe she shouldn't have passed on The Proposal (I'm just making that up because I'm bitter, and all my romantic comedies get terrible coverage.  I should really write something where one of the main characters doesn't get a venerial disease).

1.Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen $109M

2.The Proposal                 $18.6M

3.The Hangover                 $17M

4.Up                         $13.1M  

5.My Sister's Keeper                 $12.4M

6.Year One                 $6.02M

7.The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 $5.45M

8.Star Trek                 $3.71M

9.Night at the Museum 2         $3.64M

10.Away We Go         $1.71M

--Posted by Casey, June 29--

































































































Columbia Pictures is apparently now in talks with David Fincher (Seven, The Game, Panic Room) to direct The Social Network, a film about the formation of Facebook.  The script, written by Aaron Sorkin, is described as a biopic (meanwhile this dude is, like, 23, and just stopped pooping in a diaper a few years ago) covering the time from the site's creation back in 2004 by Harvard drop out Mark Zuckerberg, to present day, where it now swallows up the free time of nearly 200 million members like a cyber blob.

Every time I hear about this project, I think it's some sort of joke Columbia is playing on everyone.  Like the time my fraternity brothers told me the hottest girl in Chi Omega wanted me to lavalier her.  I showed up with a Tiffany necklace and found a goat tied to a tree.  Okay, that thing with the goat didn't really happen.  I totally banged her and then told her I was secretly in the CIA, and couldn't be in a serious relationship, but you get the point.  This Facebook thing seems real.

I've Googled the crap out of this dude, and I cannot for the life of me find a compelling story in here other than the Facebook founder, Zuckerberg, having some crazy guy wave a gun in his face while filling up his Vespa, or something.  He was living in Northern California at the time. I mean, seriously, how many nerds has that happened to in Oakland?  400,000?  

David Fincher could pretty much show up with some cameras and film a bris and make it look wicked cool, but I'm going to take a wait and see approach on this one.  I mean, wasn't Bill Gates like, 19 when he started Microsoft?  This guy being older, and worth about 56 billion less makes it kind of a yawner.

I'm just sayin'.

--Posted by Casey, June 23-- 

































































































Writers, if you're reading out there, pay close attention.  Because your spec with 'The' in the title could be the next picture to body slam the box office.  Think of all the single words in the English language, and the subsequent organic title possibilities that have been unexplored.  In addition to The Hangover, and The Proposal, there could be (The Man, The Woman, maybe evenThe Couple).  Hey, there was even a band called The The.  

Hello biopic!

Many are saying that auds were just hungry for a romantic comedy and said yes to The Proposal, but I have a hard time believing it didnt have more to do with my 'The' theory.  If I were a studio, I'd think long and hard about adding "The" to my next picture.  Just look how films without "The" at the beginning of the title have performed recently.  Land of the Lost? (granted, itis in there).  Year One?  

None of them have landed at #1.  Booyah! 

1.The Proposal  $33,627,598 $33,627,598

2.The Hangover $26,753,473 $152,817,015

3.Up $23,492,677 $226,268,932

4.Year One $19,610,304 $19,610,304

5.The Taking of Pelham  $12,034,899 $44,067,224

6.Night at the Museum:  $7,807,185 $156,459,744

7.Star Trek $5,511,434 $240,255,340

8.Land of the Lost $4,358,945 $44,055,510

9.Imagine That $3,290,227 $11,541,605

10.Terminator Salvation $3,284,230 $119,727,528

--Posted by Gary, June 22--


I guess I just  couldn't resist making some stupid dog comment when introducing this story.  Am I immature?  Or is it Ted Griffin's fault for naming his show after a favorite at the Westminster Kennel Club?  According to my therapist, who says I "need to stop wasting her time three days a week," it's probably me.   Anyhoo, FX has apparently given the green light to Griffin's (and Shawn Ryan's) detective dramedy.  

And, just for the record, Ted Griffin is a writer, not the Family Guy character who reminds me of my Uncle Barry (it's a lot funnier when it's not happening at your Fourth of July pool party).

According to Variety, the project is described, "as a comedic take on the private eye world, revolving around an ex-cop turned detective who teams up with a young hot-shot," and Griffin will exec produce with Ryan (whom he worked with on The Shield).

The show should be pretty good.  Griffin wrote Ocean's Eleven and Matchstick Men and has been a biz favorite for a long time.  In fact, one of the first "Hollywood" scripts I ever read wasBest Laid Plans.  It had a great twist at the end of the first act, but other than that it was pretty much 3 people saying cool things for 110 pages.  Frankly, his dialogue driven writing style lends itself quite well to the small screen.  

I'm pretty excited for the show, if for no other reason than it will give me yet another show to TiVo and watch on Sunday nights when I eat pizza, and dial 900 numbers.  I mean, I have to save up my energy to cruise chicks one night a week.  Geez.

Am I fired from this job writing the news yet?  I'm not really trying that hard.

--posted by Casey, June 10--

































































































According to Variety, things on the ABC reality series The Bachelorette are really "heating up."  Since this is the same crap they say every week, I finally decided to tune in to see if anything on the program remotely resembled some sort of meat I'd put on my new 360 George Foreman grill (knockin' out the fat!).  First of all, the Bachelorette looks like a girl I dated back in the eighth grade.  Her name was Gretchen Barber, and she was so flat chested, I had to go up my own shirt to premature ejaculate.  So, the 'object of desire' must not be what Variety is referring to.

Second, there's a dude on there with a foot fetish that she's still keeping around.  Maybe they're talking about him getting a step closer to abducting her and forcing her to wear try-on socks from Thom McCann.  Why don't you ever hear about a guy with a hand fetish?  It's always the feet.  You have to wonder how big of a catch a girl who doesn't get creeped out about a guy obsessing over her toes could possibly be.

So, I guess they were talking about how there was a "rumor" floating around that one of the bachelors "had a girlfriend."  Ooooh.  Really?  A dude dating one girl, but still dating another, and not telling either of them.  That only happens to Blair on Facts of Life.

I was at least hoping for some decent hot tub action.  But, then I realized Jillian needs to safety pin her bikini top to her nipples to keep it up.

Even though I'm a writer, and should loathe reality TV, I must admit that I do indulge in it every now and then (Flavor of Love?  Are you kidding me with that?).  But, I think I'm done with The Bachelorette.  After about the 30th talking head with Jillian describing what she was hoping to get out of her group date, I wanted to smear Fancy Feast all over myself and jump into a pit of rabid house cats.

--posted by Casey, June 9--


Man, what a sad weekend.  There's really no hope left for any of us who write comedy.  When an R rated film like The Hangover, that only has the douchebag from Wedding Crashers, a dude from The Office, and some guy with a beard I've actually never heard of, only musters 45 mil at the box office, it's time to write the obituary.  Particularly when a Will Ferrell "running around saying funny things" comedy (with CGI!) is opening the very same weekend and underwhelms.  I guess I'll pack it in, and go work at GNC, selling andro to ten year olds.

Sidebar: in my will, I have requested that my relatives play "Get Down on It," by Kool and the Gang, and everyone drink Jagermeister shots from an ice sculpture of in-her-prime Cheryl Tiegs.  But, that's me.  I'm like that.

Terrible reviews had to have something to do with this.  I mean, the NY Times made it sound like viewing Land of the Lost was like witnessing kittens get blown up with C4.  I have to admit I didn't see a single movie this weekend.  I was too busy crashing high school summer camps in my Firebird (wither, Pontiac?), and scouting Asian chicks at my Sunday afternoon ESL class.   But, the previews didn't look funny at all.  After Talladega Nights, we're not falling for that Will Ferrell running around screaming funny lines gambit.  Even if there's a CGI dinosaur, and he's wearing his underwear this time.  If I wanted to watch an hour and a half of horrible skits strung together, I'd just watch SNL, and put Jurrasic Park up on my picture in picture.  $19.5 million from 3,521 theaters is pretty anemic, but better than the Semi-Pro opening.   

Conclusion: an afro apparently costs you 5 mil at the box office.

Up doing well wasn't much of a surprise.  I thought it would do more, though.  A lot of people seemed to be talking about it.  But, again, I'm going to go out on a limb and say the reviews hurt it a bit.  Everything I read pointed to the obese kid being absolutely annoying as hell.  Usually, in Pixar films, the kids are pretty non-existant.  Or, don't say anything, really (Monster's, Inc.).  Or, serve as the protagonist (the bag shaking lunatic Darla in Finding Nemo).  We'll have to give them a pass.  They've made more money than a Columbian drug lord in the past decade.

But, perhaps Hollywood execs will take notice of films like Hangover, and only require an A-listdirector in the future to greenlight a film with no one in it.

Battle half won.

Pretty soon I'll be directing my comedy about androids that do stand up comedy, starring the guy from Yes, Dear.

--posted by Casey, June 8--


David Carradine was found dead Thursday in his suite at Swissotel Nai Lert Park Hotel, in Bangkok.  An investigation into the possible suicide is underway.  "I can confirm that we found his body, naked, hanging in the closet," Lt. Teerapop, the investigator assigned to the case, said.  Carradine's manager, Tiffany Smith, of Binder & Associates, sounds skeptical.  "All we can say is, we know David would never have committed suicide," said Smith. "We're just waiting for them to finish the investigation and find out what really happened. He really appreciated everything life has to give ... and that's not something David would ever do to himself."  Carradine was in Thailand filming Stretch, and had several other projects in the pipeline.  

Frankly, this hardly looks like a suicide.  The situation immediately reminded me of INXS frontman Michael Hutchence's death years ago (only he was found hanging from a belt on a door).  Of course, I've never really tried to choke myself and squish my jewels while masturbating, so what do I know?   I'm sure as hell not going to try it now.  Or, at least, not unsupervised (honey, can you come here for a second?  I need you to tie up my balls).

It's a sad day for writers when an actor like Carradine passes away.  Leading men and women might get the big paychecks, but character actors typically are the ones who truly enrich feature films and television productions.  I mean, I love watching Stallone kick ass in First Blood as much as the next guy, but what would that movie have been like without Richard Crenna's turn as Lt. Colonel Samuel Trautman?  (Trautman: "I don't think you understand. I didn't come to rescue Rambo from you. I came here to rescue you from him"). 

Someone needs to deliver lousy dialogue so it sounds convincing.  

Carradine appeared in over a hundred feature films, but was best known for the seventies television series Kung Fu.  The actor starred as Caine, an orphan raised by monks who fled from China after killing the emperor's nephew in retaliation for the murder of his kung fu master.  His charatcer was pursued by assassins from China seeking revenge, and Caine wandered the West in search of his half-brother.  As he does, he fights injustice, and the audience is treated to training flashbacks where his master affectionately refers to him as "Grasshopper."  Carradine departed Kung Fu after only three seasons, saying that he felt the show had lost it's edge.

Carradine's career was rejuvinated in recent years playing the title character in Tarantino's Kill Bill, for which he was nominated as best supporting actor.

Police said Carradine's body was taken to a hospital for an autopsy that should be done sometime today.

--posted by Gary, June 4--


In a move that should surprise no one, except maybe Sharon Stone, Columbia Pictures has set Kurt Wimmer to write the remake of Total Recall, the 1990 sci-fi film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.  According to Variety (and about 80 other online publications that are not Angry Writer), Wimmer plans to essentially update the Philip K. Dick story, We Can Remember It for You Wholesale (which inspired the original pic).  Total Recall was pegged for resurrection by Columbia and producing tenant Neal Moritz. 
I suppose studios are just going to start cherry picking the decent Schwarzenegger movies, and eschewing his other "work" like Kindergarten CopJingle All the Way, and Twins (it's Ahnuld and Danny DeVito--a really big guy and a really small guy!  It's gold!). 
Wimmer's selection is not really a surprise.  He's been working with Columbia on Salt, an espionage thriller starring Angelina Jolie, and also co-wrote the Jamie Foxx vehicle, Law Abiding Citizen (Wimmer wrote the story for that film).  He's also written a number of other thrillers (The Recruit, Thomas Crown Affair) and the sci-fi film Ultraviolet.
Personally, I thought the original kicked ass.  It had a hooker with three breasts (or, was it really four? Hopefully they can find a few extra boobs in the new version).  But, that was in 1990. When most of us were either still virgins, or not even born yet.  A remake of The Running Man, or True Lies can't be far off.
And, maybe that's a good thing.  If you're a studio, and you can't get anything new right, basing your films on remakes, books (Angels & Demons) and toys (Transformers) is probably a good bet.
It just sucks for those of us not named Kurt Wimmer.
 --Posted by Jeff--