Usually, I start roundtable interview pieces with a rather large amount of biographical information about whoever’s involved. In the case of Topher Grace, former star of “That 70’s Show” as well as movies like “In Good Company” and “Predators,” I’ve already covered him pretty thoroughly in my one-on-one interview with him over at Bullz-Eye.com. Nevertheless, it’s worth noting that as a hands-on executive producer and coauthor of the film’s story, he has a lot riding on the profitability of “Take Me Home Tonight,” a comedy about post-collegiate growing pains in the 1980s. Although I liked the film quite a bit, my review is but one, and to be honest, I appear to be something of an outlier. The good news for actor-producer Grace is that reviews mean next to nothing commercially for youth comedies, and people are laughing in screenings.
As for the striking, Australian-born Teresa Palmer, she’s still something of a newcomer to the American screen, having gotten good notices in the otherwise critically bashed, “I Am Number 4,” as well as Disney’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and “Bedtime Stories.” She shows every sign of becoming a more familiar face to audiences — and her face is definitely one of the prettier ones you’re likely to see right now.
While one journo tried to use a then-upcoming holiday to pull some personal info out of Palmer and Grace — at more than one point in the past, the pair have been rumored to be dating — the business and pleasure of making a youth oriented comedy was the chief topic during this mass interview from the “Take Me Home Tonight” junket.
I’ll be taking tomorrow off, so this’ll have to hold you….
* Several blogs, including The Vulture, are commenting on Disney’s refusal to greenlight a sequel to the Sandra Bullock/Ryan Reynolds hit comedy, “The Proposal.” Apparently, Disney is only interested in either franchise pictures with commercial spin off possibilities (i.e, toys and video games) or small-budget youth-themed films.
* So, after everything we’ve seen from him over the last eleven years or so, I’m supposed to believe George Lucas getting more involved will improve the reportedly troubled “Red Tails”? I just hope he stays far, far away from the actors.
* The Playlist has a fascinating peak at an apparent early draft of P.T. Anderson’s not-about-Scientology screenplay.
* The late John Hughes will get a special Oscar tribute this year.
* Nikki Finke on the latest version of the often remade Wuthering Heights. They might as well just go all-out and make Heathcliff a vampire in this one, from the sound of it.
* The British trade, Screen Daily, is the latest pub to go behind a paywall. Anne Thompson has some salient thoughts.
* “American Pie 4” may come to us from the “Harold & Kumar” writers. “Middle-Aged Pie”? (H/t /Film.)
* Devin Faraci of CHUD provides a listen to that unused rock music score for “The Wolfman.” Yup, it’s hard to imagine how it could possibly have worked with a period horror film, but then I probably would have told Quentin Tarantino that using an eighties David Bowie song in a World War II movie wasn’t such a great idea, either.
Actually, much as I love “Inglourious Basterds,” I’m still not convinced about that particular touch.
A few items worthy of your attention this evening.
* A new study predicts that the Redbox video kiosks will be taking over 30% of the DVD market before the end of 2010. There’s no stopping this and you can’t really argue with success, but I fear this will only narrow the already narrow marketing of films further, as the kiosks can only rent a very limited of inevitably mostly recent and blockbuster titles. It’s really the opposite of Netflix, which is a godsend for those who want to broaden their movie/TV horizons.
* Also via The Autuers/Mr. Hudson’s invaluable Twitter feed, comes this interesting comparison of the late John Hughes and the even later master of forties screwball comedy, Preston Sturges. I personally would never really compare the two but it is slightly spooky that they both died on August 6th and were almost the same age, and there were some similarities to their respective careers, but not to their sensibilities. Of course, that also happens to be the day the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan and my sister’s birthday, draw whatever connections you want. (My sister is, however, way nicer than an atom bomb or a writer-director’s untimely death.) I will say that, to me, Sturges movies are much, much funnier and a lot more interesting.
John Hughes, the man responsible for capturing teen angst with more humor than anyone else in the 1980s, has died, and as a tribute, I offer up sixteen of my favorite quotes from the man who gave us “Sixteen Candles.” Your mileage with these selections may vary, particularly since I wanted to pay specific tribute to his writing (if we were limiting ourselves solely to films that he directed, we wouldn’t be able to use “Pretty in Pink” or “Some Kind of Wonderful”), but that’s what the Replies section is for, so don’t be afraid to leave your own favorites below.
1.“I understand that you little guys start out with your woobies and you think they’re great… and they are, they are terrific. But pretty soon, a woobie isn’t enough. You’re out on the street trying to score an electric blanket, or maybe a quilt. And the next thing you know, you’re strung out on bedspreads Ken. That’s serious.” – Jack Butler (Michael Keaton), “Mr. Mom” (1983)
2.“This is no longer a vacation. It’s a quest. It’s a quest for fun, I’m gonna have fun and you’re gonna have fun, we’re all gonna have so much fucking fun we’ll need plastic surgery to remove our goddamn smiles! You’ll be whistling Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah out of your assholes! I gotta be crazy; I’m on a pilgrimage to see a moose! Praise Marty Moose! Oh, shit!” – Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase), “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (1983)
3. “Can I borrow your underpants for ten minutes?” – The Geek (Anthony Michael Hall), “Sixteen Candles” (1984)
4. “Does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?” – Bender (Judd Nelson), “The Breakfast Club” (1985)
5.“How about a nice, greasy pork sandwich served in a dirty ashtray?” – Chet Donnelly (Bill Paxton), “Weird Science” (1985)
6. “I love this woman, and I have to tell her. And if she laughs, she laughs. And if she doesn’t love me, she doesn’t love me. But if I don’t find out…oh, I love her too much.” – Ducky Dale (Jon Cryer), “Pretty in Pink” (1986)
7. “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick), “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986)
8. “I like art, I work in a gas station, my best friend is a tomboy. These things don’t fly too well in the American high school.” – Keith Nelson (Eric Stoltz) – “Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)
9. “The last thing I want to be remembered as is an annoying blabbermouth. You know, nothing grinds my gears worse than some chowderhead that doesn’t know when to keep his big trap shut. If you catch me running off with my mouth, just give me a poke on the chubbs.” Del (John Candy), “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” (1987)
10. “In the end, I realized that I took more than I gave, I was trusted more than I trusted, and I was loved more than I loved. And what I was looking for was not to be found but to be made.” – Jake Briggs (Kevin Bacon), “She’s Having A Baby” (1988)
11. “You know what the gourmet here wanted? Hot dogs! You know what they’re made of, Chet? Huh? Lips and assholes!” – Roman Craig (Dan Aykroyd) “The Great Outdoors” (1988)
12. “Stand me up today, and tomorrow I’ll drive you to school in my robe and pajamas and walk you to your first class. 4:00, okay?” – Buck Russell (John Candy), “Uncle Buck” (1989)
13. “Where do you think you’re going? Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye! And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse!” – Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase), “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989)
14. “Bless this highly nutritious microwavable macaroni and cheese dinner and the people who sold it on sale. Amen.” – Kevin McCallister (Macauley Culkin), “Home Alone” (1990)
15. “Any little fraulein who expects anything more from me than a little bit of pleasure, a little bit of danger, and a great set of pectorals, she’s lookin’ for a fall right on her ass.” – Jim Dodge (Frank Whaley), “Career Opportunities” (1991)
And one to bring it on home…
16. Jake: Happy birthday, Samantha. Make a wish. Samantha: It already came true.
R.I.P., Mr. Hughes. Thanks…and don’t worry: we won’t forget about you.