Sunday, August 27, 2006

Better or Worse?

2006 is the second consecutive summer with disappointing financial results for major studios in Hollywood. Bombs such as Poseidon, Mission Impossible III and now Snakes on a Plane seem to indicate a general befuddlement amongst studio honchos over just what it is the American (and international) viewing public want to see.

In the interest of saving the industry itself and the jobs of the good (guffaw) people who work there allow me to make a point and a counter-point out of two movies scheduled for release in the near future.

The Guardian Plot Outline: In an effort to find his place in life, a troubled young man enlists in the Coast Guard, where he's taken in by a renown(sic) rescue swimmer who's hardened by the loss of his team from an accident years back.

Stars: Kevin Costner (Bull Durham, Field of Dreams)
Ashton Kutcher (The Butterfly Effect, various tabloids with Demi Moore and Bruce Willis's kids)

Also appearing: Sela Ward

Director: Andrew Davis (Collateral Damage, Chain Reaction, Under Siege)

The Departed Plot Outline: Two men from opposite sides of the law are undercover within the Boston State Police department and the Irish mafia, but violence and bloodshed boil when discoveries are made, and the moles are dispatched to find out their enemy's identities.

Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Aviator, Gangs of New York, What's Eating Gilbert Grape?)
Jack Nicholson (Easy Rider, One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest, Chinatown, The Shining)
Matt Damon (The Bourne Identity, Saving Private Ryan, Ocean's 11)

Also appearing: Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin

Director: Martin Scorsese (Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Casino)

Okay, now, if you're a studio head and you're reading this I want to tell you this: One of these movies is going to suck. It's going to get raped in reviews, it's going to make shit at the box office and it's going to be pointed at as a laughingstock for the rest of the industry. The other is going to make me spooge myself in my pants while at the theater it's so awesome, it will garner award consideration, it will make oodles of money and will assume its rightful place among the pantheon of great crime movies.

If you can't tell the one from the other resign immediately. And give your job to me. Or Sparkles.

You get a great script, you hand a great director a truck full of money, have him cast whoever the fuck he wants and stay out of the goddam way.

The name's Deluxe, son. It ain't hard.

And for god's sake stop giving Ashton Kutcher work.

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