What will their cameo entail? According to Jenny "J-Woww" Farley, their role in the film involved getting "out of [their] comfort zone," which presumably means they were forced to stay sober while they were shooting. On the other hand, Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola added that they "just had fun with it," seemingly implying that they in fact didn't stay sober, but spent the entire time getting wasted, trashing the film's sets, and fighting with its crew.
The Ouroboros is a circular symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. Like the mythical Phoenix rising from the ashes, the Ouroboros represents the eternal cycle of death and rebirth. It also serves as a rather apt visual metaphor for the current state of American cinema, as Hollywood rapaciously consumes its own history in a never-ending (and possibly self-defeating) quest to enrich its present and prolong its future.
Continuing this trend, Lionsgate has reportedly hired "High School Musical" director and original "Dirty Dancing" choreographer Kenny Ortega to direct a remake of, yes, "Dirty Dancing." Ortega, late of Michael Jackson's posthumous concert film "This Is It," will thus return to his roots and his favorite thematic preoccupations: teenagers and dancing. And we wish him the best of luck. Fans of the Patrick Swayze-led original—perhaps alarmed that such hallowed ground be broken—may be able to take a small amount of solace in Ortega's involvement. We can only hope this remake does nothing to tarnish Swayze's legacy, or anyone's memory or enjoyment of the original film.
What say you, Hitlisters? Excited about a "Dirty Dancing" remake? Didn't they already mine this territory with "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights?" And who should play the new Johnny and Baby? As always, we anxiously await your thoughts in the comments.
I saw an advanced screening of “30 Minutes or Less,” the new film by Ruben Fleisher (“Zombieland”) and I have to say I thought it was very funny. Jesse Eisenberg, whose fame skyrocketed last year after his Oscar-nominated performance in “The Social Network,” has an earnest, straight-man quality that works perfectly for this black comedy that also stars Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari, Nick Swardson, and Fred Ward. Oh, there are a few pizza-sized holes in the plot and the extreme violence may be off-putting to some Eisenberg fans, but the film has many twisted moments that are laugh-out-loud funny. And the violence is kind of cartoon-like. People are killed in gruesome ways throughout the film, but it’s often unclear whether they’re really dead or not.
But even before the much-hyped film opens this Friday, it is mired in controversy. In the story, Jesse Eisenberg plays a pizza delivery guy who is kidnapped by two wannabe thugs (McBride and Swardson). They strap a bomb to his chest and force him to rob a bank to get the money they need for the hit they’ve arranged on McBride’s creepy dad (Ward). How much did screenwriters Michael Diliberti and Matthew Sullivan base the film on the real-life case of Brian Wells, a pizza delivery guy in Erie, Pa., who died in 2003 following a bank robbery when a bomb that was strapped onto him went off?
What could you do with $13 billion dollars? Buy a few islands in the South Pacific? Salvage the economy of most third-world nations? Hire the Rolling Stones, the remaining Beatles, and Barbra Streisand to play at your son’s Bar Mitzvah?
According to Box Office Mojo, the newly adjusted totals of the Top Ten Highest-Grossing Films of All Time exceed the 13 billion dollar mark for the first time ever as of this week. Even more astonishingly, three of the films on the list were released this year. The final Harry Potter film has been snaking up the list at record speed and, as of yesterday, reached the number three spot at $1.132 billion since its release less than one month ago. Good God, where will it end? Could J.K. Rowling use her royalties for the series (five other Potter films are in the Top 20) to obliterate the international debt crisis?
How is it possible that more than three decades have passed since John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John found true love at Rydell High? Can you believe that Danny and Sandy are now 57 and 63? Gulp.
Last week, Annette Charles, who played Travolta’s hot-as-a-firecracker dance partner, Cha Cha DiGregorio, in the film’s famous “Hand Jive” dance-off, died of cancer at the age of 63. And just a few months ago, Jeff Conaway, who played Travolta’s best friend Kenickie in “Grease,” died after a long history of drug abuse. He was 60. One of the fun gimmicks of the 1978 film was using actual stars from the 1950s to play the “adults” in this nostalgic look at 50s life. The film featured such legends as Sid Caesar, Eve Arden, Edd “Kookie” Byrnes, Joan Blondell, Alice Ghostley, and Dody Goodman. While most of their original work has faded from memory, the phenomenally successful movie lives on. It has grossed an astounding $386 million worldwide and now has new life as a sing-along event at venues such as the Hollywood Bowl.
While it may seem like Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg have spent their entire careers punching people in the face onscreen (and sometimes off), it may surprise and startle you to realize that they have never once punched each other. That may all change soon enough, with Deadline reporting that the feisty Crowe has agreed to co-star next to the equally combative Wahlburg in "Broken City," an indie noir directed by Allen Hughes ("The Book of Eli").
Crowe memorably began his career punching Denzel Washington in the face in "Virtuosity," and has since won considerable accolades for pummeling Guy Pearce in "L.A. Confidential," Joaquin Phoenix in "Gladiator," and the Great Depression in "Cinderella Man." Wahlberg has similarly distinguished himself by punching everyone from himself in 1995's "Fear,' to the capriciousness of nature in "The Perfect Storm" and "The Happening," and fellow Oscar-nominees Edward Norton and Matt Damon in "The Italian Job" and "The Departed." Most recently, Wahlberg was seen pounding nearly everybody in the face in his Golden Globe-nominated turn as boxer Micky Ward in last year's "The Fighter." Having him and Crowe together in the same film thus seems like face punch nirvana.
Sadly, given "Broken City's" political milieu it seems unlikely that the stars will ever come to blows. However, the plot is said to prominently involve corruption, adultery, and murder, so one can never give up hope. All signs look promising, and leave us awaiting the film in rapt anticipation.
Safely assuming the blockbuster success of its upcoming "The Amazing Spider-Man," Columbia Pictures recently announced a tentative May 2, 2014 release for its as-yet-untitled sequel. Now, other studios are following suit, staking out key dates for their own potential tent-poles. According to Deadline, Lionsgate has targeted November 22, 2013 for "Catching Fire," the first of three (or more) possible sequels to next March's highly-anticipated "The Hunger Games."
As a gloomy nation heads back to work for five more days of drudgery, petty indignity, and harassment, our thoughts turn inexorably to the dreary, existential, and apocalyptic. Which, perhaps, has never been more appropriate than today, as we commemorate the anniversaries of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (August 6th and 9th, respectively.) With quiet vigils and remembrances going on around the world, here are five films to make you feel appropriately reflective, enervated, and depressed: