March 1, 2013
Craig Brewer's next movie that might be good
I'm a fan of writer-director Craig Brewer, the guy who made Hustle & Flow and Black Snake Moan. He's a good director, and I especially admire how unpredictable/crazy his storylines and characters are. If you like Terrence Howard like I do, he's really fantastic in Hustle & Flow, plus that movie indirectly generated my favorite ever Oscars one-liner: after Three 6 Mafia had won Best Song and accepted their Oscar with adorably genuine enthusiasm, host Jon Stewart came out and said, "You know what? I think it just got a little easier out there for a pimp."
And Black Snake Moan, aka Samuel L. Jackson Chains Christina Ricci To a Radiator, is a bewilderingly strange movie about addiction, mental illness, and the blues, and it's frankly a miracle that it's anywhere near as good as it is. Plus it features a not-bad performance from Justin Timberlake as a returning soldier with PTSD.
Then, Craig Brewer made the Footloose remake, a weird choice, but I was willing to go with it. But by all accounts it was not darkly gritty or interesting, or even entertaining in any way, and I lost faith.
Then I found out what his next project is going to be: a movie based on last summer's excellent Rolling Stone article about Lisette Lee, an alleged Samsung heiress/model/singer living in Beverly Hills and leading a life of glamour and self-indulgence, who in reality was a super-manipulative sociopath from a modest background with a messed-up family life, who was ferrying hundreds of pounds of marijuana from LA to Ohio on a private jet. Eventually she got busted.
Now that's more like it! A story like this lets Brewer get back to what he's good at: exploring the flamboyantly self-destructive impulses of charismatic, mentally unbalanced people who want a better life. Or in some cases, an entirely new identity. He's going to write the screenplay and direct. The title of this movie is probably still not certain, though the AV Club helpfully suggests the brilliant Beverly Hills Weed-Jets.
This story about normal people becoming obsessed with the celebrity lifestyle and doing illegal things to try to get it reminds me of another great story-turned-movie: The Bling Ring of teenagers who blithely robbed celebrity homes for months in 2009. Sofia Coppola's movie adaptation is coming out this summer.
So I'm glad Craig Brewer is clawing his way back to movie respectability through the world of spoiled, lying, narcissistic drug mules.
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