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Mutants on Parade 11/11/05
by Lance Norris

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Here's the week that was:


CONAN: THE INDIE SWEETHEART



Because THE ISLAND was so darn good, Moshe Diamant's Signature Pictures has just signed up to finance AMAZON, an action flick that cast Scarlett Johansson as a 'gladiatric' from 200 B.C. who hunts down the army that destroyed her homeland.

THE ISLAND, which cost an estimated US $122,200,000 to make, has already earned back US $35,799,026 in the four months since it opened... Well, maybe it'll do well on DVD.

It was Johansson's idea to play the Amazon warrior, and she's the one that got THE ISLAND's writers Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman onboard to produce the film. Fortunately the writing chores will be handed to Howard McCain and Dirk Blackman.

The duo of McCain and Blackman have only previous penned the script for OUTLANDER, a Karl Urban Viking vehicle being shot in New Zealand next June, so the jury is still out on their promise, but it would be hard for them to write anything worst than THE ISLAND.

Moshe Diamant is the producer that brought us the uproarious super-genius monkey comedy FUNKY MONKEY and the Jean-Claude Van Damme hockey classic SUDDEN DEATH. I can smell box office all over AMAZON.

AMAZON will be Signature's second production. To their credit, Signature is currently in wrapping production on Brian De Palma's THE BLACK DAHLIA with Johansson and Josh Hartnett, which might actually be good. No release date has been announce for THE BLACK DAHLIA yet, but until it comes out, read James Ellroy's book, won't you?

SCHWIMMER WITH THE SHARKS



Former French Economic Major turned horror filmmaker Jean-Baptiste Andres (DEAD END) has talked American TV star David Schwimmer and England's Simon Pegg (SHAUN OF THE DEAD) into joining the cast of BIG NOTHING, Pathe Pictures announced last week at the American Film Market.

The announcement that David Schwimmer has returned to acting may signal that he has given up on his attempt to make his debut as a film director with the Michael Ian Black penned RUN, FAT BOY, RUN. Black, of course, is the voice of the pets.com sock puppet and it would be a shame if his voice were silenced here.

Simon Pegg is currently filming MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III and then will more than likely have to undergo Scientology deprogramming by year's end.

Andrea and William Asher wrote the script for BIG NOTHING which is being billed as a black comedy. At press time it was still unclear if this is the same William Asher that is the son of Producer E.M. Asher (DRACULA'S DAUGHTER), was married to American TV star Elizabeth Montgomery (BEWITCHED), father-in-law to American soft-core star Jenny McCarthy, and writer of the American Cinema Classic HOW TO STUFF A WILD BIKINI. If it is not the same William Asher, this guy should think about changing his name. He is competing with a legend.

RYAN REYNOLDS GET SCHOOLED



Walt Becker has apparently shelved plans to direct IN THE NAVY, Jason Filardi's (BRING DOWN THE HOUSE) script about a slacker who mistakenly becomes a Navy SEAL, to reunite with his VAN WILDER star Ryan Reynolds and make SCHOOLED, a high school movie told from the point of view of the teachers. Kind of like ELECTION without a young Reese Witherspoon or SUMMER SCHOOL without a skinny Kirstie Alley.

Ryan Reynolds' Dark Trick Films is producing, so look for plenty shots of the recently buff Reynolds with his shirt off, a la THE AMITYVILLE HORROR.

Reynolds can be next seen in the laugh-at-the-fat-guy comedy JUST FRIENDS, opening November 23rd in the US.

As for VAN WILDER 2, Reynolds isn't in it and Becker isn't directing it, but former BENSON writer, Mort Nathan (BOAT TRIP) is at the helm so look for it going direct to DVD early next year.

SHORT TAKES

CHICKEN LITTLE was number one at the box office last weekend with 40 million dollars. That means either the critics were all wrong about the film or dads will take their kids to anything to get out of raking leaves.

Dumpy old Mr. Potato Head will make his debut as a balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year. And if that works out next year he starts work as Steven Segal's stunt double in his new direct-to-DVD movie.



50 Cent's new movie, GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN is getting a lot of flack for being a negative influence on children. That's not fair. The movie is rated R and not meant for kids. Of course next year, when he makes FITTY FITTY BANG BANG, well, that's a different story.

Al Franken says he now plans to run for the Senate in 2008. I don't know; he's got a lot of skeletons in his closet, like that STUART SAVES HIS FAMILY movie.

And finally: Neil Diamond (THE JAZZ SINGER) has a new album out called "12 Songs". If that's the best he could do for a title, you have to wonder how good the actual songs are.

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Ask a Bitter Man
Every Thursday

Lance Norris gives us his opinions on the state of film, vents about Hollywood, and generally lets his thoughts fly.


Other Columns
Other columns by Lance Norris:

Later On Croutons

Mutants On Parade 11/12/09

Mutants On Parade 11/5/09

Mutants On Parade 10/29/09

Mutants On Parade 10/21/09

All Columns


Lance Norris
Lance Norris, dubbed "Boston's only straight Film Critic" reviews movies for WZLX in Boston.

He has two books entitled Ask A Bitter Man: The Best of 1984 - 1999 Vol. 1 and I've Seen Better Film On The Teeth of Wolverines. which you can buy here


Contact
If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Lance Norris by clicking here.


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