Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Auteur Watch - Neil LaBute

Why, Nick! Why the sad face? Things are looking up for this guy, so he should HARDLY wear a face like that. Good Lord. His favorite decade? Surely this one we're in right now. The 2000s. Never look back. Oh sure, it got off to a shaky start. He came out of the 90s strong with... basically, the same movie twice: In the Company of Men, and Your Friends & Neighbors. Oh, don't try to change my mind. Why, it's like Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction all over again, although some would argue that YF&N is no Pulp Fiction. The main thing is that Aaron Eckhart was his muse, the Penelope Cruz to his Almodovar, if you will. That kinda crap. Oh, but he was hardly done torturing Eckhart. He gave him a new haircut in Nurse Betty, so to speak, followed by the merciless obscurity of Posession. Then, have the audacity to leave him completely out of The Shape of Things! WTF, dude? But this auteur finally saw the light, and joined the big time boys with The Wicker Man starring Nic Cage. Well, remakes are still hot, and some directors can't help but ask themselves, damn it, why can't I too?
So LaBute was in the big time now. And how to follow this success? With another, of course. Duh! Specifically, a success called Lakeview Terrace. Some called it reverse racist pablem, Ebert gave it 4 stars, and the moviegoing public gave it a #1 spot to the tune of about 22 million dollars. It's a win-win-win, baby. So! How to follow up that fluke? Well, Neil knows the way: another remake. This one's called Death at a Funeral. Man! Frank Oz needs to get a better distribution deal! I mean, remaking a film that's only three years old? Why? Just to say you did it? Here's hoping it does better than Chloe in the Afternoon, Chris Rock! I better go...

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