Sunday, October 02, 2016

Auteur Watch - ... Fring?

In looking at Giancarlo Esposito's IMDb Top 4, you might not realize who he is, because before "Breaking Bad," he did lots of stuff.  Everything from "The Electric Company" to the chief hell raiser in Do the Right Thing... forgive me, Spike LEE's Do the Right Thing.  A Spike Lee joint which, if memory serves, takes place mostly on the set of "Sesame Street."  See?  It's all related!  But judging from one interview I read with him, I don't think he wants to be known for any of that.  Personally, I also liked him as the liberal... I'm sorry, actual reporter in Bob Roberts who ends up getting thrown in Gitmo or something, or framed for assassination.  I confess, I don't like to play too close to the fire personally.  I deserve neither comfort nor security, as that phrase goes.
And so, while we all eagerly await his inevitable yet triumphant return to "Better Call Saul," this second Giancarlo... Giannini being the other one... tried his hand at directing.  Because he took a couple looks at Spike Lee, sitting there in the director's chair, and eventually found himself thinking "...what a shmuck."  To his chagrin, sure, but sometimes you just gotta desert a sinking ship, folks!  And so, right out of the gate, we get 2008's Gospel Hill.  I'm guessing it didn't play in the middle part of the country between the coasts, for one... Now, I hate to lump this into the same genre as Sugar Hill and Federal Hill, but... oh, right, I read it's more like City of Hope.  Might as well emulate the best, right?  And, why, look!  Some of the same cast!  Okay, just Angela Bassett... but still.  And what's the deal with these stupid Hollywood posters, as the VeggieTales might ask!  I mean, look at this!  Danny Glover is under Angela Bassett's name, Angela Bassett is under Giancarlo Esposito's name, Julia Stiles is under Danny Glover's name, and Giancarlo Esposito is under Julia Stiles' name!  Need I go on?... oh, that's the last one.  No wonder the critics savaged this!
And so, time marches on, wounds are licked clean, careers are elevated by such lightning strikes as "Breaking Bad" and what not... and occasionally you get some down time to do your next feature.  In Fring's case, something called This is Your Death came across his desk.  It's a script about a "disturbing hit game show" has contestants ending their lives for "the public's enjoyment" and, well... I guess it's been a while since The Running Man.  Or The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner.  Or Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone or... well, you get the idea.  Just go to this IMDb list here to get the idea.  But who knows?  Maybe there's some new spin to put on it, and the title's certainly provocative enough.  Ought to entice the well-dressed neo-Swing dancer hipsters out there, and certainly the narcissists; you know, the ones who want to know what they're in for... but don't want to be too surprised.  Ohhhhhh yeah.

No comments: