Woody Harrelson hits movie screens with such galvanizing force in Rampart, you might be surprised that Hollywood didn't cower and hand him an Oscar nomination, trembling. It's getting harder and harder to remember that he first came to fame as lovable naive "Woody" on Cheers. His turn in Rampart is closer to that worldly carnality from The People Vs. Larry Flynt but drained of any subversive joy.
Woody is playing an obstinate corrupt cop named Dave Brown. Brown's moniker within the precinct is the not-so-charming "Date Rape" which he supposedly garnered from the killing of a rapist years earlier. It's a piece of street justice that he will neither confirm nor deny but it sounds entirely plausible given his disdain for legality.
When Brown is caught on tape beating a suspect, he's put on probation. The Rampart Precinct has abundant PR problems and Brown, who is loudly homophobic, xenophobic and racist ("I hate all people equally," as he explains it) is one of their largest ones. So begins his downward spiral. It's not just his dirty cop behavior. His personal life is even messier. Brown is an unrepentant womanizer and in addition to one night stands (Broadway wonder Audra McDonald in a memorable cameo) and randy lawyers (Robin Wright, sensational) he's still living with and sleeping with his two ex-wives (Anne Heche and Cynthia Nixon), who are sisters. The women he's not sleeping he's either purposely or accidentally antagonizing like his lesbian daughter Helen (Brie Larson from United States of Tara).
"How's school?" he asks her, remembering to play Dad.
"It sucks," she replies more exhausted than angry. "It's full of candy-ass future fags and dykes like me. Those are your words not mine."
MovieFone records history: live blogging the midnight showing of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace in 3D.
Gawker and other outlets on the shocking appearance of Macauley Culkin. That's a lot of weight lost since the Mila Kunis days. Not that that breakup had anything to do with it. Sorry. My mind wandered.
ESPN Page 2 Rising actor Michael B Jordan on his color blind casting in Chronicle and his time with Friday Night Lights
Vulture Channing Tatum. The Cameron Diaz of Men?
24 Frames celebrities bitching about Oscar snubs
Playbill Lea Michele may reprise her breakthrough role for a Spring Awakening movie
Happy Birthday to 'The Face'
My New Plaid Pants celebrates the long strange enlightening career of Laura Dern, or "The Face" as we like to call her.
Nick's Flick Picks will also be celebrating her. But which movie? I keep refreshing my screen but nothing is there yet. Hurrrrryyyyyyy
... as soon as I typed the header up top, I realized you'd be thinking of The Lovely Laura Linney™ instead so, whaddya know, Nick provides there, too. He wrote a provocative personal review of The Laramie Project, which features one of Linney's performances he hadn't seen. She's part of that telefilm's grand mosaic of real characters as a woman who can't comprehend the meaning of "hate crime". It's a must read if you remember where you were when you heard the news about Matthew Shepard all those long years ago.
Ten Lauras We Love ...
- The Face
- The Lovely Laura Linney
- Laura Elena Haring whispering "Mulholland Drive" hypnotically
- Laura (1944)
- "Laura" by the Scissor Sisters,
- "Laura Holt" on Remington Steele
- "Laura" in Pariah
- Lara Croft (what? that counts, right?)
- Laura "Gloria" Branigan (*sniffle)
- ...and Laura Ingalls Wilder. Sometimes. But she can be annoying.
No I don't know why we just went there either but go with it. We believe in following trains of thoughts especially when they spill right over into the c-o-m-m-e-n-t-s
Hey, Let's Remake a Hitchcock!
While some of us enjoyed Gus Van Sant's maligned Psycho (1998) experiment in "recreation" (hey, it's more honest than "reboot") -- generally we're forgiving of artistic experiments in comparison to parasitic cash-grabs -- remaking Hitchcock movies is never a good idea in the strictest sense of the word "good". Think of the relief on the internetz when that new version of The Birds didn't take flight. See, Alfred Hitchcock is not like so many great auteurs of yore that today's audiences aren't familiar with. If there is any classic Hollywood director that contemporary mainstream audiences still 'get,' isn't it Hitchcock? The latest of his features someone wants to remake is Rebecca (1940). Maybe there should be a law against remaking Best Picture winners? I do not trust anyone in 2012 with "Mrs. Danvers". Back away from the apparitional lesbians*!
Hey, Let's Keep Making Vampire Pictures!
Doesn't anyone in Hollywood worry about bankrolling trends long past their sell-by date? While it's true that vampires never go completely out of style they do sometimes hibernate, burrowing deep into the ground until they're ready to engage again (a la The Vampire Lestat), in terms of pop culture popularity. So after two plus decades of vampire madness doesn't it seem like that bubble could burst at any moment and someone will lose bazillions of dollars? As far as I can tell 2012 and 2013 are already so stuffed with vampires onscreens both large and small that eventually audiences will be wearing garlic when they approach the TV or multiplex. But they've decided to make another one called Harker in which Jonathan Harker is no longer a Keanu Reeves like lawyer but a Russell Crowe like investigator for Scotland yard.
Hey, Let's Adapt Movies No One Saw Into Broadway Shows That Are About Famous Musicians Whose Songs We Don't Have the Rights To!
Remember that biopic about John Lennon's pre-fame years called Nowhere Boy? It had one of those long torturous 'what year does this film belong to' releases 'round the world but never caught on. It's the film that introduced us to Aaron Johnson (Kick Ass, Albert Nobbs) who we now seem to be stuck with. It also introduced him to director Sam Taylor Wood and they're happily co-habitating and child-rearing three years later. But I'm losing the point. One of the distracting things about the movie, which made narrative but not emotional sense was the absence of Beatles. Now moneyburning people are adapting it into a Broadway musical. Who pray tell would spend $100+ a ticket to see an original musical about the founding members of the Beatles that is not a Beatles jukebox** musical???
*Nick introduced me to the term apparitional lesbians. I'm forever grateful because it's so damn useful. And fun to say. Try it.
** I hate jukebox musicals. I'm not suggesting someone should make one here, just that that's what audiences would want if they went to a show about John Lennon.