Friday, February 11, 2005

Movie: In Good Company (2004)

Another whip-smart comedy from ABOUT A BOY’s Weitz brothers. This time Paul writes and directs, with Chris producing. Dennis Quaid stars as a salesman entering his 50s at the peak of his profession, only to find himself abruptly answering to an upstart half his age (Topher Grace). What follows is a semi-serious and ultimately moving look at the power of mentoring, and what each party in such a relationship can draw from the other.

The Weitzes are working in Cameron Crowe mode here, showering affection on their characters while still allowing them to make mistakes. Even supporting players like Grace’s soon-to-be ex-wife (the divine Selma Blair) and boss (Clark Gregg) are fully fleshed out. Hollywood used to know how to crank out sharp commercial comedies for adults on a regular basis. Now getting one in a blue moon is cause for celebration.

Noticed: Used Book Store Report

Someone offloaded their entire collection of STAR TREK Fotonovels. I had forgotten these books existed. Fotonovels consisted of hundreds of stills from movies or TV shows, with the dialogue presented in comics-style word bubbles. In other words, they’re books for people who find novelizations too complicated. About a dozen such STAR TREK books were released in the late ‘70s, but great films of the period like NIGHTWING and ICE CASTLES also got the treatment.

Naturally, I had many of these books. I don’t know where they are now. And I didn’t feel like paying eight bucks for one yesterday, because I’m not that nostalgic for them.

You’d think that the advent of home video would have been the end of the Fotonovel, but an Amazon search turned up a few recent ones like CHARLIE’S ANGELS and SHREK. I’ve never seen them in stores, though.

Miscellaneous: Links

Plenty of other blogs have linked to this brutally frank Ian Irvine essay on how publishing actually works. Couple that with this Hollywood Reporter piece on the shrinking market for original screenplays and a guy could get depressed. Makes me long for the days when I wrote phone sex ads for a living. At least I got to be creative.

And: is D. W. Griffith the spiritual father of Edward D. Wood, Jr.? Reason may not say so, but REASON does.