Hey folks, Harry here with that man in the insane asylum... R. P. McMurphy. Before I get to the meat of the intro, let me clarify what it was that R.P. McMurphy saw at SAN DIEGO COMIC CON regarding the alleged THE GREEN MILE TRAILER. In actuality that was the SHOWEST reel that Moriarty reported on back in March. It was meant to be shown at SHOWEST only, and Warner Brothers really has their heads up their asses for showing it at San Diego Con in front of a bunch of film geeks. You see... The effects that R.P. McMurphy saw were not final nor even temporary effects. Those were effects done by the visual effects supervisor especially for that trailer reel and done in just 2 days. They do not resemble the final effects in any way, shape or form. The word I hear is that we will be getting our GREEN MILE trailer soon enough, and I do know that the film is not 'feel goody'. So without further ado, I'll turn the asylum over to the man who slobbers and drools..... R.P.?
Hey, R.P. McMurphy here again, with a look at a few scripts that got smuggled into my padded cell. First, let me clarify the few issues I had with The Green Mile trailer, since it got some Talkback members, and even the evil genius Moriarty, into a tizzy. I thought The Shawshank Redemption ultimately was a feel-good movie, but one that succeeded because it took the audience on an honest emotional journey, full of both darkness and light. But from the looks of the trailer, The Green Mile is a much lighter film. I don't mind if Darabont tries a different approach, but I'm hoping he retains the compassion and honesty of his first film, and doesn't sugar-coat everything. Speaking of directors coming off of huge successes, on to the first script.
The Talented Mr. Ripley by Anthony Minghella- Harry mentioned in the first test screening review of this that he liked this script by the Oscar-winning helmer of The English Patient, but I thought I'd also come out to support this odd, wonderful script. It follows a socially awkward con man, Ripley, who is sent to Italy to retrieve Dickie, the son of a wealthy ship builder. Ripley is drawn into the extravagant, hip lifestyle of Dickie and his long-suffering girlfriend Marge, and for a while the script plays out almost like a Euro-beatnik version of The Great Gatsby. Then, we learn more about the characters, and there's a twist which both Premiere and Entertainment Weekly gave away in their Fall Movie Preview issues. Suffice to say those who cringed at Caravaggio's torture scene in English Patient may want to skip this one. The material is different than TEP, but it has the same refreshing intelligence. Minghella keeps it from being a conventional thriller and has a lot to say about '50's culture clashes, jealousy, music, deceit, class, alienation, and other issues (credit must also be given to Patricia Highsmith, who wrote the original novel). There's a forgery subplot in the third act I hope they cut out, but other than that, this is a fascinating, riveting read. I can't wait to see Matt Damon's performance as Ripley, a very complex character. If he pulls it off, it's his second Oscar nomination.
Dino by Nicolas Pillegi- I liked Pillegi's work on GoodFellas, and to a lesser extent, Casino (Scorsese's style was a huge assist to the latter). In this Dean Martin biopic, his kaleidoscopic storytelling style is on autopilot. This project is on hold so Scorsese can assemble his fabled dream cast, but I think he should also wait for a dream script. As brisk, entertaining, and sometimes funny as this script is, it lacks the substance which it truly needs. The HBO Rat Pack film had much more depth, and people will recognize that if this script is shot. Dean Martin comes off as little more than a wisecracking womanizer until the tragic closing scenes, which arrive as too little, too late. But it's not too late to improve this script, so let's hope Pillegi does.
The Six-Million Dollar Man by Kevin Smith- Supposedly this script was rejected by the studio because it had too much dialogue, which is a shame. If filmed, it could be the best mix of action spectacle and character drama since Face/Off. Steve Austin is constantly grappling with whether he is a weapon or a human after becoming bionic, much like that current film with the metal dude. His relationship with Oscar, a friend who opted that he become a bionic warrior after a plane crash severed 3 of his limbs, is especially moving. And the action scenes...wow. For the record, I much prefer this to Superman Lives, Smith's other rejected genre script, which itself is decent. But this is just the film to validate those action-film geeks with brains, like us. Oh wait, I don't have a brain. Ah shucks.
Until next time,