In the pages of this weeks issue of The Hollywood Reporter sits a full-page ad taken out by one Eric D. Wilkinson. “I am a producer and writer of independent movies,” it begins. “I withdrew money I don’t really have from my savings to reach out today to tell you that I love the movie Die Hard. Let me say that again...I LOVE DIE HARD.”
Chuck knows its way around a good cultural allusion, the show's been full of lines and references to various action movies and elements of culture. This week was no exception and Chuck delivered two great ones.
This Monday morning is no less painful than any other on the calendar, but at least you only have to survive 48 hours before you're rewarded with a day off. Cling to the weekend box office numbers as you try to make it through the excruciating two days that stand between you and illegal firework displays, backyard barbecues, and egregious midweek drunkenness:
· After a summerlong run of sequel-clogged weekends where the eventual winner of the box office battle was all too obvious, the outcome of the upcoming Die Hard vs. Ratatouille fight seems up for grabs. We're not betting against Pixar, even though we'll probably wind up watching John McClane blow shit up. [Variety]
· Oh yeah Die Hard made $9.1 million on Wednesday, its first official day of release. Is that a lot? We're not good with midweek box office record data. [THR]
· Universal signs up erstwhile Biggest Comedy Star In the World Jim Carrey for Sober Buddies, one of those magical projects with a title so concise that we don't have to waste any time explaining it. (OK, OK, Carrey is a Sober Buddy who falls off the wagon while helping an alcoholic pal on a business trip in Vegas. Hilarity ensues, etc etc.) [Variety]
· 3.2 million viewers tuned in to CNN to for Larry King's post-jail interview with Paris Hilton. While this was King's highest rated show since 2005, consider that three times more people watched So You Think You Can Dance on Wednesday night if you'd like to feel a little better about the public's TV-watching taste levels. [THR]
· We would never ask you to start thinking about the Oscars in late June. That's just sick, really. [Variety]
So overcrowded is the summer movie marketplace that the only way to distinguish one's upcoming blockbuster product from the blowing-shit-up competition is to hit the talk show circuit and recreate some of the fun that awaits fickle moviegoers upon their next trip to the multiplex.
Because we at Defamer realize that many of our readers toil in windowless dungeons buried deep beneath Hollywood's surface, and that any glimpse of the sky, no matter how secondhand, is likely to temporarily brighten the drudgery of their slave labor, we share with you this reader-supplied photo (click the above image for a larger version) of the Live Free or Die Hard promotional display soaring over Los Feliz a little earlier this afternoon. Unfortunately, the most crucial part of the four plane-formation, i.e., the one trailing the OTHERFUCKER component of the airborne campaign, was grounded prematurely due to technical problems, leaving spectators merely with an unsatisfying, incomplete message of "YIPPEE KI YAY M...THE BEST IS BACK...LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD."
Upon reading that movie-star-of-the-internet-people Bruce Willis had virtually kneecapped Armageddon director Michael Bay ("Bay...Would have ruined DH4. Few people will work with him now, and I know I will never work with him again.") while communing with his fans on the AICN message boards, we had a feeling it wouldn't be long before Bay used his own online forum to retaliate against his mouthy ex-collaborator. With an emotional mixture of hurt, disbelief, and defiance far more complex than any moment in one of his movies, a wounded Bay responds:
Never once in the above clip (thanks to Deadspin for bringing this joy into our lives on a Monday afternoon) do we see any booze cross suspiciously enthusiastic action star and proud New Jerseyian Bruce Willis' lips during this interview at a break in yesterday's Nets-Raptors game, so it would unfair to attribute his slurry, semicoherent endorsements of both his companion's promising career and his new movie to alcohol intoxication; clearly, his potshot at Cybill Shepherd, his seemingly insane claim that this summer's Die Hard sequel is better than the original, and his "Yippee-kai-yay, motherfucker!" sign-off were fueled by the excitement of playoff basketball, and not by enough $14 jumbo Bud Lites to kill an actor of half his tolerance.
A teaser trailer for Live Free Or Die Hard intended to premiere in front of Eragon and Pursuit of Happyness today was "accidentally" leaked online yesterday afternoon by Yahoo! (the offending page was quickly pulled), a completely unorchestrated error that resulted in the clip's immediate proliferation on the YouTubes. (Egads! What will the studio do to counteract the publicity disaster represented by a fully finished movie commercial getting out 15 hours early? Heads will roll!) At the risk of becoming party to Fox's transparent ploy to build buzz for the resurrection of its moribund "desperate guy fighting terrorists all by himself" franchise, we present the teaser, in which so much shit blows up and so many cars are launched through the air in a single minute (without a hint of plot) that we wouldn't have been surprised to see the words "A BRETT RATNER FILM" pass across the screen.
Other blogs are much better equipped to keep you informed regarding the coming traffic Apocalypse about to swallow any unfortunate soul wretched enough to have to drive anywhere near LAX, courtesy of your friends at 20th Century Fox's insistence that Live Free or Die Hard be filmed on an authentic stretch of Los Angeles freeway. We can, however, pass along a tiny bit of good news for those who find themselves stuck in a seemingly endless traffic jam: They might hear some shit blow up in the distance and momentarily trick themselves into thinking that the strength of their hate has willed into existence one of their gruesome revenge fantasies involving Bruce Willis and some poorly timed pyrotechnics:
SAG looks to increase dues for the first time in seven years, a move that could put an unwelcome financial burden on your favorite bartender, valet parking attendant, or Starbucks barista in between slow-arriving residual checks. [Variety]
· On fledgling network The CW's premiere night, America's Next Top Model carries them to a win in the only demographic they truly care about, 18-34 year-olds, as the kids obviously put in the effort to figure out which channel is the new home of Tyra Banks' trademark sassiness. (Disclosure: We still have no idea what channel The CW landed on here in L.A. We suppose we'll figure it out eventually.) [THR]
· Adorably quirky superproducer Brian Grazer's Imagine TV is hooking up with the FBI to develop a drama about its role in the post-9/11 government. In the meantime, The Graze and his partners are hoping that new CBS series Shark will be a hit and make them incrementally richer. [Variety]
Justin Long will join Bruce Willis in the cast of the fourth Die Hard flick, Live Free or Die Hard, playing an obnoxious Mac enthusiast who scoffs at Willis' every frustrated attempt to download pictures from his digital camera onto his PC. [THR]
Thursday night ABC newcomer Grey's Anatomy defeats CBS timeslot stalwart CSI in both overall and key demographic viewership, leaving Les Moonves no choice but to promise his network affiliates that he plans on having the entire Grey's cast murdered by the end of the month. [Variety]
It's already been a big day for erstwhile international megastar Bruce Willis, as Fox has announced that the fourth installment of the long-dormant Die Hard franchise, Live Free or Die Hard, will open over the Fourth of July holiday weekend in 2007, momentarily releasing Willis from his recent career purgatory of endlessly circling the globe and pretending to enjoy hugging sweaty men in rented raccoon suits. But in less happy news, TMZ.com reports that Willis has filed suit against a childhood friend whom he had hired as a full-time scrapbooker (come on, anyone who's anyone in Hollywood has one), but whom allegedly repaid the actor's generosity by absconding with some of Willis' photographed and videotaped memories, peddling an unflattering book full of "falsehoods and lies" about Willis to publishers, and extorting him with his cynical aspirations of being a tell-all author. The story offers no hint as to what these lies might be, but one can only hope they contain clues to unlocking the mystery of why Willis bought boybandish singer Aaron Carter $1 million in gifts, or, at the very least, where he had Cybill Shepherd's body buried after the wrap party for Moonlighting. We are genuinely sad for Willis, for no faded star should have to have the happy occasion of the announcement of his desperation comeback vehicle marred by the ugliness of a personal lawsuit made public.