Daily Call Sheet: A Gift From the 'L.A. Times,' 'Rise of the Apes' Podcast, and the Ugly Truth Behind 'Erin Brockovich'

L.A. TIMES’ TO INSTITUTE PAYWALL IN FIRST QUARTER OF 2012

No one reads this rag now, but now by not reading we’ll save money. Nice.

PODCAST WITH ‘RISE OF THE APES’ SCREENWRITERS

The married screenwriting team of Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver talk about the five-year experience of making the film, from the germ of the idea straight through to production, and how they got started in Hollywood. No overnight successes in screenwriting. They also co-wrote “Eye for an Eye” and “The Relic,” two underrated favorites of mine.

Budding screenwriters should definitely give this a listen.

SIX ‘BASED ON A TRUE STORY’ FILMS WITH UNPLEASANT EPILOGUES

If we learned anything from How Stella Got Her Groove Back it’s that a 20-year-old is capable of having a mature and fulfilling relationship that’s not based on sex. This is still technically true for the real-life Stella, author Terry McMillan, who wrote the book on which the movie is based. See, her real-life Jamaican lover based their relationship not on sex, but on a love of getting the fuck out of Jamaica by any means possible, even if that meant faking interest in an American tourist twice his age. … But that fact alone isn’t why the couple is separating — as it turns out, Jonathan Plumber, the real-life Winston Shakespeare, is actually gay[.]

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When Hinkley’s residents contacted Erin [Brockovich] about their concerns (“concerns” is a term that here means “money for our cancer bills”), they found that their one-time advocate was now unreachable. Once they finally received the money, they noticed that it was far less than they expected. That’s because the law firm, wanting more than the agreed-upon 40 percent of the settlement ($133 million), took an extra $10 million for “expenses.”

SPIELBERG OBVIOUSLY FEELING BURNED OVER ‘INDY 4’

Spielberg should be embarrassed:

Steven Spielberg won’t make a fifth ‘Indiana Jones’ movie to “prove any point”.

The filmmaker – who has directed all four of the previous installments in the franchise – does know many people did not enjoy the last movie ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’, but would not work on further films just so he could win them round.


He told MTV News: “I would not make a fifth movie to prove any point. If we get a good story, I’ll make it. If George Lucas doesn’t think we should make any more, I’ll listen to him.

“I think audiences think we’re two for two. They love ‘Raiders’. They love ‘Last Crusade’. They don’t love as much ‘Temple of Doom’ or ‘Crystal Skull’.

“Temple of Doom” is fine, imperfect but very much saved by a truly magnificent third act.

“Crystal Skull” is excrement.

DENZEL WASHINGTON IN TALKS TO PLAY ‘THE EQUALIZER

Now that Paul Haggis is out, this is a great idea.

‘SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS’ REVIEW

A Game of Shadows is pure period action drama with a delicious camp twist (cross-dressing aside) that demonstrates Downey Jr has made Holmes as much a part of his nature, as Captain Jack Sparrow is to Depp’s. This alone will keep fans more than occupied throughout Ritchie’s second sleuthing romp – inflated run-time aside.

MATT DAMON TRASHES DIRECTOR OF NEW DAMON-LESS ‘BOURNE’ FILM

Bitter much?

In short, [Damon] was not a fan of the [‘Bourne Ultimatum’] script. And in addition to calling out Tony Gilroy, he blames Universal for giving the screenwriter a sweetheart deal that only required one draft from him.

“It’s really the studio’s fault for putting themselves in that position,” Damon tells GQ. “I don’t blame Tony for taking a boatload of money and handing in what he handed in. It’s just that it was unreadable. This is a career-ender. I mean, I could put this thing up on eBay and it would be game over for that dude. It’s terrible. It’s really embarrassing. He was having a go, basically, and he took his money and left.”

“If I didn’t respect him and appreciate his talent, then I really wouldn’t have cared,” Damon said, referring to Gilroy. “My feelings were hurt. That’s all. And that’s exactly why I shouldn’t have said anything. This is between me and him. So saying anything publicly is f—ing stupid and unprofessional and just kind of douchey of me.

Damon? Douchey? Go on.

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LAST NIGHT’S SCREENING

Starting Over (1979): This is a reminder of just how talented an actor Burt Reynolds is. A wonderful film, an intelligent adult romance (written by James L. Brooks) made for adults with a number of memorable scenes and more than a few big laughs that aren’t in any way contrived or cheap.

Reynolds intentionally and effectively underplays the role of Phil Potter, a hapless newly single man who can’t get over his unfaithful ex-wife (Candice Bergen), even though he knows the new woman in his life (Jill Clayburgh) is much better for him. Bergen is young and sexy and holds the key to Potter’s self-confidence. Clayburgh is average-looking, not-so-young, but faithful, intelligent, and caring.

Candice Bergen (playing it perfectly straight) singing those awful songs and Jill Clayburgh standing out in the freezing cold screaming, “I’m not a one-nighter!” (until her nose literally starts to drip) are stand out moments for both actresses who would end up with Oscar nominations.

Reynolds is the one who most deserving of a nomination, though. Two years after “Smokey and the Bandit,” Reynolds completely disappears into this role and garners huge laughs and enormous sympathy with nothing more than a look. The best scenes involve Potter’s support group for divorced men. It’s a nice subplot with a touching, bittersweet ending.

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SCOTTDS’ EPIC LINKTACULAR

BLU-RAY PLAYER $69.99

TRAILER FOR ‘ROCK OF AGES

VINTAGE MOVIE MARQUEES: ‘THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK’ (1980)

TRAILER FOR NICHOLAS SPARKS ADAPTATION ‘THE LUCKY ONE

CINEMA TRENDS OF 2011: ESCAPISM, INVASION, SEQUELS AND RESENTMENT

‘RIDDICK 3’ CONCEPT ART REVEALS THE JACKAL

THE 10 BEST MOVIE SONGS OF 2011

POSTER FOR ‘GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE

FIRST OFFICIAL PHOTOS FROM ‘THE GREAT GATSBY

FATTY ARBUCKLE AND THE DEATH OF VIRGINIA RAPPE

ALEX PROYAS’ ‘PARADISE LOST’ DELAYED DUE TO BUDGET ISSUES

‘JERRY MAGUIRE’ STARS 15 YEARS LATER

DIRECTOR ELI ROTH AND NETFLIX TEAM UP FOR ORIGINAL HORROR SERIES

DISH MAY LAUNCH NETFLIX-LIKE STREAMING SERVICE

GREAT BUT FORGOTTEN: A BLOG DEDICATED TO MOVIES, BOOKS, ETC. THAT DESERVE TO BE LESS OBSCURE

THE 10 WORST THINGS HANNA-BARBERA EVER MADE

2011’S MOST BEAUTIFUL CELEBS

TOP 10 MAN’S LIFE MAGAZINE COVERS

WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR ‘MACGYVER’ SKILLS?

NEW ‘GHOST RIDER 2′ POSTER & EARLY REACTIONS

20 FACTS ABOUT ‘ABOUT A BOY

A LOOK BACK AT ‘DAMNATION ALLEY

CELEBRATING 60 YEARS OF ‘I LOVE LUCY

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CLASSIC PICK FOR THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15

TCM:

8:00 PM EST: Life With Father (1947) — A straitlaced turn-of-the-century father presides over a family of boys and the mother who really rules the roost. Dir: Michael Curtiz Cast: William Powell, Irene Dunne, Elizabeth Taylor. C-118 mins, TV-G, CC.

TCM is loaded for bear with tomorrow’s schedule, but with a number of titles I’ve previously recommended. Regardless, this would still be my pick, a gentle, funny, and warm family story that I once watched three times in a single day. If you want to be transported to a simpler time and gentler place, movies don’t do it much better than this.

Another perfect offering for the kids. Beware, though, a young Elizabeth Taylor will surely steal your adolescent son’s heart and possibly ruin him for life in the process. Who could possibly compare?

Unfortunately, this is another one of those public domain titles where a decent DVD print seems impossible to find. Hopefully, someday, someone will do something about that.

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