When we invent screenwriting programs that can write a screenplay from start to finish, it will crank out something like Chasing Mavericks. The script is so cynically calculated in its plot beats and character motivations that it’s easy to forget the story is based on a person’s real life. The biopic of surfing prodigy Jay Moriarty comes off as a disservice to his memory as his character, like everyone else in the movie, is one-dimensional and saddled with stilted dialogue. The only times when Mavericks truly comes alive is when it embraces the act of surfing; everything else is a wipeout.
What happened in 2008 with America’s economy could have been the sort of disaster that sent the country (and possibly much of the world) into a depression. America – through deregulation and bad planning – created toxic assets where people were given loans that they had no real hopes of paying them off. Too Big to Fail attempts to turn how Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (William Hurt) dealt with the problem. The cast is studded with people like James Woods, Bill Pullman, Billy Crudup, Topher Grace, Paul Giamatti, and many more. Curtis Hanson directed the film, though he can’t get over the massive amount of exposition. Our review of the Blu-ray of Too Big to Fail follows after the jump.
The first trailer for Curtis Hanson and Michael Apted‘s Chasing Mavericks has gone online. The film is based on the true story of the relationship between legendary surfer Jay Moriarty (newcomer Jonny Weston) and his mentor, local legend Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler), and how Moriarty made his name surfing the waves of Mavericks in Northern California. Judging by the trailer, this looks like a nice movie that won’t blow anyone away, but could make for an enjoyable time at the pictures. However, I’ve never surfed in my life, so I’d like to know what surfers think of this trailer.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Elisabeth Shue and Abigail Spencer. Chasing Mavericks opens October 26th.
Walden Media is currently in production on Of Men and Mavericks, a drama about the mentorship of big wave surfer Jay Moriarty. Curtis Hanson (8 Mile) was directing the picture, but is now recovering from “health complications” from a recent heart surgery. Deadline reports that Michael Apted (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) is stepping in to finish the final 15 days of principal photography.
Gerard Butler stars, playing mentor to Moriarty (played by newcomer Jonny Weston), a soul surfer who made his name on the waves of Mavericks in Northern California. Elizabeth Shue, Abigail Spencer, and Levin Rambin also star in the October 26, 2012 release. Best of luck to Hanson on a speedy recovery. Hit the jump for background on Moriarty.
A couple more casting stories for you today. Firstly, Elizabeth Shue and Abigail Spencer (Mad Men) are set to star in Curtis Hanson’s surfing pic Of Men and Mavericks. The real-life story stars Gerard Butler as a local surfing legend and mentor to Jay Moriarty (Jonny Weston), a world champion surfer who died in a diving accident at 22. THR reports that Shue will play Moriarty’s mother, while Spencer will take on the role of Butler’s character’s wife. The film will chronicle Butler’s transformation from reluctant mentor to father figure through the training of the young Moriarty. Leven Rambin also stars. Fox 2000 will co-finance and distribute with Walden Media. Jim Meenaghan and Mark Johnson penned the script.
Hit the jump for the casting news regarding Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained.
Gerard Butler has signed on to play surfer Rick “Frosty” Hesson in Curtis Hanson’s Mavericks. We first reported on the film about a year ago when we learned that Hanson was developing a movie based on the late legendary surfer Jay Moriarty and that Sean Penn was considering the Hesson role. According to Variety, the story will center on Moriarty’s “quest to ride the iconic Northern California break known as Mavericks, where winter swells bring in treacherous waves the size of five-story buildings. Moriarity trained for more than a year under Hesson, forging a relationship that transformed both their lives.” Hanson, whose last film was 2007′s Lucky You, will direct from a script by Kario Salem and Brandon Hooper.
While Lucky You was a misfire, Hanson tends to deliver solid movies and I’m interested to see what he’ll do with this story. I’m also thrilled to see Gerard Butler in a movie that isn’t a disposable, lowest-common-denominator, get-a-new-agent rom-com.
Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential) is set to direct a film about Bill Anthony Jakob, a 36-year-old bank security guard who was indicted on a 23-count federal indictment for impersonating a law enforcement officer in a small Missouri town. Jakob led a crackdown on the town’s meth labs, but unfortunately, he was nothing but a lot of talk and a fake badge. According to Deadline, Jakob was able to get away with it by convincing the officials of the small town that he was within his rights granted by the Patriot Act and the Department of Homeland Security. I have to admit: it’s not the worst ruse ever.
Unfortunately, the downside to all this is that his felonies in turn tainted all the arrests made by Jakob’s busts. It will be interesting to see if screenwriter Clark Gregg (Choke) will go for a comedic route or take a darker tone of a disturbed individual trying to do the right thing. I’m not sure what you get if you cross The Informant! with Observe and Report, but it’s fascinating to consider.
After 2007′s poker-movie flop Lucky You, director Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential) is getting back in the game with a biopic about surfing legend Jay Moriarty with possibly Sean Penn attached to play Moriarty’s mentor, Rick “Frosty” Hesson. Via Production Weekly’s Twitter feed, the story will be “based on the true adventures of the surfing wonderboy.” His bio on Surfline.com says Moriarty was a laid-back, happy-go-lucky guy. There’s nothing negative about him in there and that may be due to the fact that he died the day before his 23rd birthday. So rather than a rise-fall-redemption story, this will probably be an overcoming-the-odds kind of tale.
The problem with most surfing movies is that it’s difficult to capture the exhilaration of the sport on film. Perhaps Hanson will have more success than others.
Going back to the old masters, going back to the classics is always illuminating. Someone like Alfred Hitchcock knew how to frame a film. He knew where he was putting his camera, and why it was there. As in North by Northwest he achieved one of the great visual representations of sex. Cary Grant lifts Eva Marie Saint up to bed, and then a train enters a tunnel. Not exactly subtle, but undeniably brilliant. My review after the jump.