Coming Attractions: Bill Murray dresses up like John Wayne, and Richard Ayoade does Dostoyevsky

But They’re Cheerleaders!

I don’t know how you feel about Lucky McKee, but he certainly has his fans among horror geeks, and I’ll admit I find the psychological outcast horror of May and his intensely weird wild woman horror collaboration with Jack Ketchum, The Woman, both very interesting and engrossing, if not exactly brilliant. Now McKee is working on a new film, All Cheerleaders Die, a collaboration with I Know Who Killed Me director Chris Siverston. Modernciné is producing, with Caitlin Stasey and Sianoa Smit-McPhee set to star. Actually, it’s a “re-imagining” of a video project the two filmmakers made just after they graduated USC in 2001. It’s about a rebellious teen who gathers together a group of girls to take down the captain of the football team, but they end up in a supernatural battle instead. With McKee’s penchant for positive depictions of socially maladjusted women, and Siverston’s skill at… well, whatever his skill is, this should be an interesting project.

Ayoade’s Double

A couple of stills from Richard Ayoade‘s The Double, his follow-up to his well-received directorial debut Submarine, were released this week, and it looks pretty interesting, if I can use that word again. In what I’m guessing is a very loose adaptation of Fodor Dostoyevsky‘s novel, Jesse Eisenberg plays the lead role of a man whose life is upended by the appearance of a doppelganger who aims to take his place. The excellent Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, and Noah Taylor also star. Now, Japanese horror master Kiyoshi Kurosawa already made the wonderfully strange Doppelganger, but I’ll try not to hold that against Ayoade. I generally like Ayoade as an actor/writer, but I was a bit underwhelmed by Submarine. It wasn’t bad, just a bit too programmatic-overwritten-Wes Anderson-derivative-Sundance-style-adolescent-quirkfest for my tastes. This one looks more somber, which can’t hurt.

Friends, Roman’s Countrymen

If you’re like me, and you probably aren’t (count your blessings!), the mention of the name Charlie Sheen is enough to turn you off any announced project. Ugh. But wait. I mean, it’s not like he’s Donald Trump or something, and he was in Being John Malkovich, even if that role was kind of a non sequitur. Anyway, when you throw in Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Patricia Arquette, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Wes Anderson collaborator (and Coppola) Roman Coppola (who hasn’t made a feature since 2001’s CQ) as the writer-director, well, I start thinking maybe I can tolerate Sheen for a couple of hours, and just hope his TV (and meds) schedule keeps him from doing extensive promotion for the film. In August, Entertainment Weekly published a few stills from the production of A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, and now Yahoo! has posted a few more, including one of Murray dressed as John Wayne from The Searchers, and one of a very hirsute and badly dressed Schwartzman. The movie’s about a graphic designer whose life falls apart, and according to Coppola, a lot of it takes place inside the main character’s head. I don’t ever want to spend a moment inside Sheen’s head, but I’m interested in seeing how this one turns out.

Truth Trumps Racism

Speaking of Trump, I need to spend a moment here to discuss The Central Park Five my favorite documentary of 2012, which was released by Sundance Selects the day after Thanksgiving. Even as far back as 1989, Trump was getting publicity for his ridiculous self by spewing spurious, racially-motivated nonsense in every direction, taking out full-page ads in four NYC newspapers to call for a reinstatement of the death penalty in the notorious “Central Park Jogger” case, despite the fact that no capital crime had been committed, and that four of the five teen defendants were minors. Trump was just a small part of the media frenzy about that case, as the documentary documents. It’s a powerful indictment of the judicial system, the media, and the public that let fear and racial animosity overpower truth and justice. When the convictions were vacated in 2001, it didn’t get nearly the attention that the original case got, and these five men have been fighting the city for restitution for nearly a decade. I’m hopeful that this superb documentary, directed by Sarah Burns, David McMahon and Ken Burns, will help their cause. And I urge you to see it. MM

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