In this week's New York, Jessica Pressler analyzes something called the Michael Lewis Effect (a.k.a. how the subjects Michael Lewis writes about turn into national celebrities and, in the process, make a fortune). As Pressler states, "When Lewis does a book, he often puts the people he writes about in touch with [his agent Don] Epstein, because, inevitably, they are going to need an agent, too." Pressler follows that up by exhibiting the influence of a Michael Lewis book (or movie adaptation): "What other journalists can claim to have changed the way the game of baseball is played ... and possibly inspired Sandra Bullock to adopt a black baby?"
What this means is that if you are really really interesting and are looking to make a little extra dough, hopefully, Michael Lewis will come knocking.
Moving on to the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, last week, everyone was talking about EW's 'Avengers' cover (mainly why there was such a subpar Photoshop job of the six superheroes front and center). However, there were a few things that did not get as much attention in the issue, in particular, EW's poll of the best robot movie of all time. So, out of flicks like 'Star Wars,' 'Terminator 2' and 'Blade Runner,' what ended up winning? None other than Pixar's 'Wall-E' with 22 percent of the vote ('Star Wars' came in second with 17 percent). Cue angry Jedi fans worldwide.
Now on to political-themed flicks: In this week's New Yorker, critic Anthony Lane reviews 'The Ides of March,' George Clooney's Howard Dean-esque thriller, starring a murderer's row of critically acclaimed "it" actors (Ryan Gosling, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marissa Tomei).
What did Lane think of the film? Lots of style, but not enough substance, especially when it came the script: "Clooney and company could have used [director Preston] Sturges...when it came to rewrites. With all the betrayals and gassy ambitions swirling around here, we badly need dialogue to ignite the film, instead of which even the most aggressive spirits keep firing the dampest of lines."
In other news: let's talk about everybody's favorite family film franchise, 'The Human Centipede' (Note: This movie is NOT a family film, that was a joke. Don't go renting it for your kids). In the New York Times this past Friday, Dave Itkoff interviewed 'Human Centipede 2' director Tom Six, who discussed the controversy surrounding his movie.
"I like to make controversial films... I would hate it if I would make a film and people wonder what to have for dinner when the film is over," later adding "If people walk away crying, I like it...And if people are laughing, I love it. I want a reaction."
Also interviewed in the piece is fellow torture porn filmmaker Eli Roth, who manages to compare the grotesqueries of the flick to the Royal Wedding.
"It has nothing to do with the movie and everything to do with the climate of the culture," said Roth, referring to the British ban of 'The Human Centipede.' "No one's going to say, 'Well, maybe these people didn't like something like the royal wedding, and this display of wealth that was shoved down their throats.' People need a scapegoat for violence in culture."
If your scapegoat is conducting nasty medical experiments on helpless human beings, then Eli is absolutely correct.