Remember that scene in The Matrix when Laurence Fishburne is getting the snot kicked out of him (literally)? Poor dude was hunched over in a chair; bloody, beaten -- you were hoping he'd make it out, but deep down inside you really wanted to give him a tissue. "Here man, wipe some of that sh*t off. Seriously, it's disgusting." Well, I immediately thought of that scene while reading about this latest bit of Fishburne casting news via Variety. According to them, he's signed on to star alongside Cole Hauser (he's the cute, clean-cut guy in films like The Cave, Paparazzi and 2 Fast 2 Furious) in Tortured, for Five Star Pictures, Insight Film Studios and Proud Mary Entertainment. (Here's hoping these two gents give Mary something to be proud of!)

Pic, which starts shooting this Monday in Vancouver, revolves around an FBI agent (Hauser) who goes undercover and gets in good with "the world's most powerful crime syndicate." However, once he's in the loop, his bosses assign him the task of torturing one of their accountants (Fishburne). I'm not sure if FBI agents are allowed to torture people while undercover, but I am sure the situation will provide plenty of juicy conflict. "Hey man, I'm going to whip you with these chains. Since, technically, I'm using them for work, can I write that off?" Nolan Lebovitz (whose last big-screen credit was on something called Dr. Benny) will direct off his own script. What I want to know is at what point do we throw our hands up and admit that the whole torture genre has run its course? Are you folks still interested in this stuff? Does it still scare you?