MOVIE CHEAT SHEET: Pigs Fly! Sandler Oscar buzz?
Adam Sandler and "Oscar buzz" are phrases that never, ever go together. Or do they?
BRIAN GASPAREK/ 24 HOURS
THE BIG STORY:
Adam Sandler Oscar buzz?
I'm not an Adam Sandler fan. For over two decades, the Sandman has pumped out nothing but goofy-garbage films, sprinkled with a few nostalgic, very guilty pleasures. (Those recent Netflix films are especially trash.) That's why all of the critical acclaim surrounding his upcoming comedic-drama, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), is completely throwing me off. When I first heard about The Meyerowitz Stories, I dismissed it for being just another unwatchable Sandler-led Netflix production. But apparently, I was wrong. It's no Sandy Wexler or The Ridiculous 6. It's directed by The Squid and the Whale mastermind Noah Baumbach and bodes a supporting cast for Adam that includes Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Adam Driver and Candice Bergen. When I heard that it was a hit at Cannes and that Sandler's dramatic performance is somehow being lauded, I felt like I had to see a teaser to actually believe it. And after finally getting to stream it this week, I thought ... it actually looks really good. What is going on? For now, I refuse to buy into the movie blog chatter that an Adam Sandler movie is Oscar calibre. But after seeing the first trailer, and learning that as a Netflix production, it's earned itself a limited theatrical release, I'll admit I'm finally excited to see one of his film's.
Leo as Leo
Leonardo DiCaprio just signed a seven-figure deal with Paramount Pictures to portray what could very well be his most boring role yet ... Leonardo da Vinci. (Yep, the very same Leonardo who DiCaprio's mom named him after.) Leo will play Leo in an adaptation of Walter Isaacson's highly acclaimed upcoming book, Leonardo da Vinci, which explores the painter's life through a weaving of his discovered notebooks.Here's hoping the flick features some Italian Renaissance sex and scandal to liven up all the art and science chatter. Just kidding, Leo will make it great.
License to Drive again
Just when we thought the trend of gender-bending film remakes was slowing to a halt, we got word this week that there's another one coming down the pike. But this one sounds terrible. For no good reason, 20th Century Fox has decided to make a female-led version of the Two Coreys' 1988 awful comedy-adventure, License to Drive. According to producer John Davis, he hopes it will be "the female version of Superbad." Huh? It's as if Davis hasn't even seen License to Drive. The film was corny, poppy and painfully earnest. It was completely void of raunch and incomparable to Superbad. There's zero nostalgia in this idea, either. This is a remake destined to bomb.
St. Vincent's Dorian Gray
Speaking of gender-bending remakes, this one actually sounds pretty damn cool. It was announced this week that indie rock star (and all around awesome lady), St. Vincent (a.k.a. Annie Clark), has been signed by Lionsgate to direct her first full-length feature, a female-led adaptation of Oscar Wilde's 1890 classic, The Picture of Dorian Gray. You know, the story of the Victorian-era hedonist who stays young looking while his self-portrait grows older and uglier to reflect his debauched lifestyle. In Annie's version, the hedonist will be a woman. Clark is a true creative, and I can't wait to see how her first real film comes together. It should be sweet.
BEST AND WORST IN THEATRES:
Logan legit: Logan Lucky
Of course, Steven Soderbergh's first film after a nearly five-year hiatus is awesome. It's Steven Soderbergh, people.Critics are saying that the director's redneck NASCAR heist flick is an absolute blast. It's full of laughs and ridiculous twists. It bodes a killer cast that includes the unlikely sibling pairing of Channing Tatum, Adam Driver and Riley Keough. It also features a bonkers Daniel Craig - with a southern accent - visibly having the time of his life. I'm so excited that this movie is as well received as I expected it to be. You know which theatre to find me in this weekend.
Seen it all before: The Hitman's Bodyguard
Aside from the fact that this film has zero hype surrounding it, and that both Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson looked embarrassed to be taking part in its corny trailer, critics are panning The Hitman's Bodyguard for being just another generic buddy action flick. What a disgrace, given the potential it had for comedic chemistry between its two all-star leads, and its pair of A-list villains in Gary Oldman and Salma Hayek. It's an unfunny '80s action stereotype and a waste of a solid cast. Skip it. You've seen better.
"There's no point in making excuses about it. It was two days after I'd finished shooting [Spectre]. I'd went straight into an interview, and someone said, 'would you do another one?' And I went, 'No!' Instead of saying something with style and grace, I gave a really stupid answer." - Daniel Craig (who is officially returning for James Bond 25) on why he had previously said he'd rather "slash his wrists" than return as 007.