In today’s Movie News Rundown: We talked with Michael Shannon and Jacob Alexander about their young vs. old crime movie; lots of inside dirt on the underrated Tom Cruise-Jamie Foxx drama Collateral; and CAA agents — they’re just like us!
What’s Your Favorite Crime Movie? Michael Shannon and Jacob Alexander both have excellent answers to that question on the latest MovieMaker podcast, but host Eric Steuer’s answer is the correct one. Shannon and Alexander’s new film, Echo Boomers, is about young folks stealing from old folks, and you can listen on on Apple or Spotify this Thanksgiving as you stay indoors avoiding human contact, savoring Clorox-basted turkey:
CAA Speaks: The superagency “broke with their tradition of staying out of the press,” to give Variety their side of the dispute with the Writers Guild of America. The story takes you inside CAA headquarters — nicknamed the Death Star — to show that agents are people too, and even like Pinkberry.
Wait, That’s a Dealbreaker: Pinkberry is, to my taste, a little too yogurty.
Nonetheless: Should you bank this intel, and send frozen yogurt to an agent you hope will sign you? Look, I admit that at a previous job I did once hire someone who sent baked goods, and that she turned out to be one of the best people I’ve ever worked with. But maybe don’t do this with things that are melty.
Choose Your Own Legal Adventure: Netflix and Chooseco LLC, the hilarious name of the company behind the Choose Your Own Adventure books, have settled a lawsuit over the brilliant Black Mirror episode “Bandersnatch” in which viewers choose the main character’s decisions, which are more misadventures than adventures. Have we talked about how the whole internet is a Choose Your Own adventure book? To learn more about the lawsuit, turn to The Hollywood Reporter. To visit the greatest movie newsletter on earth, turn to this page.
Collateral Backstories: Film School Rejects crushed it on this post, “31 Things We Learned from Michael Mann’s ‘Collateral’ Commentary,” timed to the film’s Blu-Ray release. One fantastic detail is how much backstory director Mann and star Tom Cruise worked out for Cruise’s assassin character, Vincent — including why he knows so much about jazz. Note the specificity here from Mann: “We postulated an alcoholic, abusive father who was culturally very progressive, he was probably part of Ed Sadlowski’s Steelworkers Local, he was a Vietnam veteran, he had friends who were African-American on the South side of Chicago. The Checkerboard Lounge is thirty minutes away on the Calumet Skyway. The father was probably an aficionado of jazz. There was a great jazz scene on the South side of Chicago, but it’s almost as if the father blamed the son for what happened to the mother. The father never tutored the boy in jazz…”
Speaking of Crime Movies: Collateral is better than Heat.
Comment of the Day: I want to hug complete stranger Tommy Luca for his response to the chess movie recommendation in yesterday’s Movie News Rundown. “A great chess picture… I remember watching as a kid is WarGames (1983),” Luca writes. He notes that the film, by “master-of-cinema director John Badham,” uses chess “as an allegory to strategic thermonuclear war.” We feel like Luca gets us, because the headline of yesterday’s Rundown included the line, “How about a nice game of chess?” which from, yes, WarGames.
Sincerely: Wishing you and whoever you’re spending Thanksgiving with — even if it’s only you — the best day or days off possible. If you’re a human being, you deserve a serious break, and I hope you get it. Also, thank you very much for reading this. Getting to co-run MovieMaker is a dream come true and I’m beyond thankful to you for supporting it. See you on Monday.