Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dafoe Joins Cirque de Freak

Willem Dafoe has joined the cast of Paul Weitz's next film, Cirque de Freak, in which he will evidently be playing a vampire. That's fine with me because I loved his vampiric performance in Shadow of the Vampire (2000). The film's cast includes John C. Reilly, Ken Watanabe, Michael Cerveris, Orlando Jones and Salma Hayek.

The word "uneven" seems to easily apply to Weitz's body of work thus far. Admittedly, I've never seen any incarnation of American Pie, so I won't hold that against him or in his favor.

That said, he was the writer-director of About a Boy, probably the best "modern" romantic comedy of this decade thus far. If there's another out there you believe to be as good, hit me with it because as an open-minded guy I'm sincerely interested.

American Dreamz truly was a horrible, disastrously botched movie. Such a blown opportunity.

That said, it's often true for artists that it's darkest just before dawn, so I'll hold out some hope.


Evan Derrick said...

Both he and his brother are all over the map. Look at their output together ("About a Boy") and their output singly ("In Good Company," "The Golden Compass," "American Dreamz"). Methinks they need to get back together.

"Dreamz" was horrid. I hardly ever regret spending money on a movie - even if it's bad, I can get my $8 bucks worth by dissecting it and figuring out where it went wrong. But I regretted spending money on that movie. Ugh. What a disaster.

Anonymous said...

Dafoe was just wonderfully goofy as Shreck. Love that performance.

Weitz seems to be trying for new heights, so I'll support him.

Daniel G. said...

Willem Dafoe is awesome.

Never seen American Pie? Quite a feat. I'll admit to still liking the first one, still not changing the channel when the second one is on TV, and still hating the third one. What happened to any of those guys, anyway? Like Chris Klein?

No argument from me about About A Boy, but I'll throw in a few recent mainstreamers just for the fun of thinking about it. Some are terrible but I'll admit to having enjoyed them at least once: Love Actually, Serendipity, Shallow Hal, Brown Sugar, Hitch, Secretary, The Break Up, The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Amelie, Lars and the Real Girl, Garden State, Knocked Up, and 2 Days in Paris.

Alexander Coleman said...

Evan, hi, and thanks for stopping by again.

Yeah, that's interesting about the two brothers and their filmography/-ies. Sheesh, maybe they're hive-minded.

Dreamz was indeed a horrid experience.

Christian, yes, Dafoe's performance as Shreck is something to behold.

Daniel, I'm with you on Dafoe. No, I haven't seen any American Pies. One day I'll at least give the first one a look.

Thank you for offering those romantic comedies. Haven't seen Brown Sugar or The Break Up. I hated Lars and the Real Girl. I enjoyed Knocked Up (the only Apatow movie that in retrospect lived up to the hype, I think, but that's just me), hold Amelie in high regard, almost loved 2 Days in Paris, didn't find The 40-Year-Old Virgin all that funny or amusing and I think Garden State would have been something of a small masterpiece if the last fifteen minutes or so had been left on the editing room floor (Portman is so cute and adorable in that, though!).

Anonymous said...

Nice casting. Michael Cerveris played Sweeney Todd in the revival of the show a couple of years ago. :)

Daniel G. said...

There's really no need for you revisit any of the ones I listed, Alexander, especially not Brown Sugar or The Break Up.

I certainly liked Lars more than you, but I absolutely agree about Knocked Up being the crowning achievement for Apatow, even better than Virgin.

Garden State has not help up well with me since I left the theater for some reason.

Alexander Coleman said...

I just think Garden State needed to embrace the briskness it seemed to go after. As it was, it felt too bogged down--a characteristic that seemed natural early on when Braff is himself bogged down--for the whole running time to really take off and fly. Again, though, more brevity would have helped that film a good deal in my estimation.

Lars seems to be one of those movies where you have to buy in to the conceit completely, or at least to a great degree, lest it fails to work. I have some problems with Ryan Gosling, and that movie seemed to be the apex of my issues with him.

Knocked Up, despite being pretty long, somehow works all the way through, as the long running length seems a necessity to allow the main character's arc from irresponsibility to responsibility actually properly blossom.

Daniel G. said...

You're right on about Lars. I fought the set-up for a good 45 minutes before giving into it at the party scene. From that point on I enjoyed it much further. I know many who didn't or found it difficult to adapt to it felt the same as you. Probably not one that would do well with repeated viewings, either.

Interesting you mention that about Knocked Up because I saw it again last week and felt that it almost started to drag in the last half hour. But you're right, some semblance of momentum is maintained, and the relational issues are really well packaged within its justified running time.

Daniel G. said...

"much further" makes no sense.

Alexander Coleman said...

Aha, don't worry, Daniel, I understood what you meant and didn't even blink or think about it. "Much further" is a fine statement for Lars, somehow.

Yes, Knocked Up manages to defy gravity a bit with its long running time (129 minutes, I do believe). I think considering that it will continue to age rather well.

Alison, that's interesting about Cerveris. I, of course, was ignorant of that.