Jim Schembri’s Movie Cheat Sheet – May 27
Just when you thought the kerfuffle over Pistol & Boo was over, Australian Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce and Hollywood star Johnny Depp have hit the mat yet again in another exchange of low-flying verbal blows.
Appearing on the Jimmy Kimmel Live talk show, Depp hacked into the Agriculture Minister saying he looked as if he was inbred with a tomato. In misjudged retaliation, the Deputy PM attempted to out-zing Depp by saying he (Joyce) was akin to Hannibal Lecter, eating away at Depp’s brain.
For those who missed it, Depp and wife Amber Heard – who are now getting divorced, sadly – got done by Joyce last year for illegally bringing their Yorkshire terriers Pistol & Boo into Australia while Depp was shooting the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie.
As well as having the legal upper-hand, Joyce was threatening to have the dogs euthanised. Whenever this was mentioned on the TV news it was often coupled with shots of dogs, who are cute as heck.
After a protracted battle, which included the threat of having Heard thrown in the slammer for 10 years, the matter was settled and the couple were forced to make a begrudging apology on video.
The video went viral and Joyce rejoiced in his victory, joking about the matter on air.
Trouble is, Joyce’s mishandling of the affair has made Australia look bad, as Kimmel’s comments when the video first appeared make very clear. (Check it out on YouTube).
It’s also hard to see how Joyce can win in any war of wits with Jack Sparrow.
Johnny Depp is a deeply talented actor and much-loved celebrity with a global reach of billions who can appear on any media platform he likes at any time he likes and say whatever he likes. Barnaby Joyce is an embattled Australian politician facing a tough election and who does not have a single multi-billion dollar Hollywood franchise to his name.
The only possible upshot from all this is that some enterprising producer will knock out a quickie comedy movie sending the whole mess up. If they’e out there, they are welcome to the title Poochgate, free-of-charge.
‘BEAST’ BEATS ‘STAR WARS’ TO ONLINE RECORD
In this era of online immediacy where the number of views a movie trailer gets has somehow become a ‘thing’ – kudos to the movie marketing geniuses behind that, by the way – it’s made big news that the teaser trailer for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson hit 91.8 million views in its first 24 hours, trouncing the 88 million views scored by Star Wars: The Force Awakens. We now await with bated breath for the release of the full trailer to see if it knocks over Star Wars and its 112 million views. It’s a slow news week, people.
MORE HALLOWEEN HORROR
Veteran schlock director John Carpenter (The Thing; Christine; Starman) is set to produce the 10th sequel to his genre-defining 1978 horror hit Halloween, according to Variety. Carpenter – who has frankly struggled to gain traction with audiences for over decade and is presently remaking his 1981 classic Escape from New York – says: ‘I’m going to help to try to make the 10th sequel the scariest of them all.’
Some fresh ideas would help.
GILLIAN UP FOR JANE BOND
A mock James Bond poster posted online featuring Gillian Anderson as the first female Bond found favour with the actress, who promptly endorsed it, cheekily saying she’d love to play the first femme 007. A great idea, surely, given how Daniel Craig has apparently said no to a $US120 million offer to do two more and how desperately in need of fresh ideas the franchise now is. Seriously, if the Bond producers were eager to have Burt Reynolds as Bond back in the late 1960s, how precious can we seriously be about keeping him white, male and British? Time to shake and stir the formula.
COMING SOON: THE FRUIT NINJA MOVIE
In the wake of the success of The Angry Birds Movie – $156m worldwide in two weeks, still going strong – we’ll soon see another movie based on a phone app: Fruit Ninja. Sounds lame, sure, but so did the idea of an Angry Birds movie when it first popped up. All they’ve got to do is find a way to keep kids still in their seats for 85 minutes and they’ve got a hit.
X-MEN UNSEAT CAPTAIN AMERICA
It was a Marvel-vs-Marvel smackdown as month-old Captain America surrendered its #1 spot to the debut of X-Men: Apocalypse. X-Men took a huge $7.98 million across 578 screens, while its stablemate settled at #2 with a $2.2m haul across 347 for a four-week total of $31.78m. Rather than it being a competition, in reality it’s more a case of one part of the Marvel mega-franchise passing the baton on to another. The Susan Sarandon/Rose Byrne comedy The Meddler (#12) took a strong $148,788 across a scant 17 screens.