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11 items from 2004


Jessica Simpson Sick of Being the Butt of All Jokes

2 December 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Pop beauty Jessica Simpson is paranoid about the size of her bottom and gets enraged when it is mocked by her Dukes Of Hazzard co-star Johnny Knoxville. The singer, who beat off Britney Spears for the coveted role of Daisy Duke in the big-screen remake, has reportedly had enough of other actors' jokey antics. An insider says, "They have been saying her butt looks big compared to the original Daisy. They know she's sensitive about it." Simpson allegedly snapped when Jackass star Knoxville and American Pie actor Sean William Scott jumped out of a car to surprise her - naked from the waist down. The source adds, "Jessica told them to grow up. She was freaked out." »

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Knoxville down home with 'Daltry'

16 September 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Miramax Films is moving forward with the production of Daltry Calhoun, gearing up for a Sept. 25 start date with Johnny Knoxville in final negotiations to topline. Juliette Lewis, Elizabeth Banks, David Koechner and Kick Gurry also are on board to star in the project, sources confirmed. The film marks the feature directorial debut of Katrina Holden Bronson. Miramax and Quentin Tarantino's L. Driver Prods. are co-producing. The project brings Knoxville and Tarantino back to their roots: Both are originally from Knoxville, Tenn., the setting for Daltry Calhoun. The project, penned by Bronson, is described as a dark comedy about a father (Knoxville) struggling to keep his once lucrative Tennessee golfing empire intact when his estranged 14-year-old daughter -- a gifted musician -- is unexpectedly left in his care. »

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Simpson puts up her 'Dukes' for first feature role

14 September 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Jessica Simpson has been cast as Daisy Duke in Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow's The Dukes of Hazzard. The role effectively serves as her feature film debut, though she did make an appearance playing herself in the 2002 feature The Master of Disguise. Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville already had been cast as Bo and Luke Duke, respectively, in the big-screen version of the television series that Jay Chandrasekhar is directing, and Bill Gerber is producing. John O'Brien wrote the screenplay that attracted Chandrasekhar's interest. Chandrasekhar and the rest of comedy troupe Broken Lizard will do additional writing. Bruce Berman is exec producing for Village Roadshow. Greg Silverman and Dana Goldberg are the execs overseeing for Warners and Village Roadshow, respectively. Pop star Simpson shot to fame when her marital misadventures with fellow singer and husband, Nick Lachey, aired on MTV's Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica. She has played herself in countless TV appearances and had a guest starring run on That '70s Show. Simpson is repped by CAA. »

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Simpson puts up her 'Dukes' for first feature role

14 September 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Jessica Simpson has been cast as Daisy Duke in Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow's The Dukes of Hazzard. The role effectively serves as her feature film debut, though she did make an appearance playing herself in the 2002 feature The Master of Disguise. Seann William Scott and Johnny Knoxville already had been cast as Bo and Luke Duke, respectively, in the big-screen version of the television series that Jay Chandrasekhar is directing, and Bill Gerber is producing. John O'Brien wrote the screenplay that attracted Chandrasekhar's interest. Chandrasekhar and the rest of comedy troupe Broken Lizard will do additional writing. Bruce Berman is exec producing for Village Roadshow. Greg Silverman and Dana Goldberg are the execs overseeing for Warners and Village Roadshow, respectively. Pop star Simpson shot to fame when her marital misadventures with fellow singer and husband, Nick Lachey, aired on MTV's Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica. She has played herself in countless TV appearances and had a guest starring run on That '70s Show. Simpson is repped by CAA. »

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A Dirty Shame

13 September 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Screened at the Toronto International Film Festival

The Tony-winning success of Hairspray might have made him a mainstream darling, but John Waters has returned to trashy form with what is unquestionably his most outrageous film since those heady Pink Flamingos days.

A giddy sex farce starring Tracey Ullman as a repressed Baltimore resident (where else?) who turns into a raging sex maniac after receiving a freak head injury, this overheated ode to depravity and general bad taste kicks some silly smut in the face of today's conservative-leaning, post-wardrobe-malfunction society.

Granted, Waters has problems keeping it up -- the content really struggles to sustain a feature-length format -- but the picture, wearing its NC-17 rating like a badge of dishonor, should nevertheless emerge as his best boxoffice bet since 1994's Serial Mom.

Ullman is Sylvia Stickles, a generally unhappy woman with a horny husband (Chris Isaak) and a go-go dancer daughter with ridiculously enlarged breasts (an unrecognizable Selma Blair) and a stage name of Ursula Udders, whose bouts of exhibitionism have landed her in home detention.

One day en route to her family-operated Pinewood Park and Pay convenience store, Sylvia sustains a smack in the head that turns her into a card-carrying sex addict around the same time she's spotted by writhing tow-truck driver Ray-Ray Perkins (Johnny Knoxville -- a Watersian name if there ever was one), who believes her to be the long-awaited 12th apostle of erotic awakening.

While Ray-Ray, whose battle cry is "Let's go sexin'!" inducts her into his inner circle of fetishists, Sylvia's mother, Big Ethel (Suzanne Shepherd), along with libido-hating neighbor Marge the Neuter (Mink Stole), launch a campaign to take back their neighborhood from all the disgusting deviants.

Taking his stylistic cue from cautionary movies like Reefer Madness and old high school health films, Waters also throws vintage sexploitation flicks and musty nudist camp clips into the naughty mix, while his longtime production designer Vincent Peranio heightens the kitschy landscape with suggestive-looking foliage.

Waters also spent a lot of time coming up with wacky euphemisms like "yodeling in the canyon," while Ullman's Stickles refers to a part of her anatomy as her "axis of evil."

There also seems to be nothing too taboo for the rest of his willing cast, which also includes Patricia Hearst (in her fifth Waters film) and David Hasselhoff in a sequence so tasteless the late Divine would have smiled approvingly.

Fine Line

Fine Line Features presents This Is That Killer Films/John Wells production

In association with City Light Pictures

A John Waters film

Credits:

Director-screenwriter: John Waters

Producers: Christine Vachon, Ted Hope

Executive Producers: Mark Ordesky, Mark Kaufman, Merideth Finn, John Wells, The Fisher Brothers

Director of photography: Steve Gainer

Production designer: Vincent Peranio

Editor: Jeffrey Wolf

Costume designer: Van Smith

Music: George S. Clinton

Music supervisor: Tracy McKnight

Cast:

Sylvia Stickles: Tracey Ullman

Ray-Ray Perkins: Johnny Knoxville

Caprice Stickles: Selma Blair

Vaughn Stickles: Chris Isaak

Big Ethel: Suzanne Shepherd

Marge the Neuter: Mink Stole

Paige: Patricia Hearst

Dora: Jackie Hoffman

Himself: David Hasselhoff

Running time -- 89 minutes

MPAA Rating: NC-17 »

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Knoxville and William Scott Sign for 'Dukes of Hazzard'

13 September 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Johnny Knoxville and Seann William Scott have signed to star as cousins Luke and Bo Duke in the upcoming movie version of 1980s TV hit The Dukes Of Hazzard. The pair will reportedly join pop star Jessica Simpson who has screen tested for the role of Daisy Duke. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Jay Chandrasekhar will direct the movie - but a start date has yet to be announced. Tom Wopat and John Schneider played the Duke cousins in the original series, which ran from 1979 to 1985. »

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Waters Thrilled by Catholic Church Blast at Film

27 August 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Film-maker John Waters is thrilled at the review given to his latest film A Dirty Shame from the Catholic News Service - despite it lambasting the movie for being "crude". The cult director's comedic story about sex addicts - starring Tracey Ullman, Johnny Knoxville and Selma Blair - has been met with harsh criticism by the organization, much to the delight of Waters. The review complains, "(The film features) almost non-stop rough, crude and profane language, full frontal nudity, sexual imagery, obscene gestures, scatological humor, casual portrayal and descriptions of deviant sexual practices, a glorification of freewheeling sex and some sacrilegious imagery." Waters tells gossip site Pagesix.Com, "I don't know if I can get a better review than that." »

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Walking Tall

9 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Opens

Friday, April 2

This might not be your father's Buford Pusser, but the remake of "Walking Tall" remains the tale of a vigilante with a badge -- and a very big stick. As a man of few words who takes on the forces of pure evil in his rural hometown, WWE star-turned-actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is a self-possessed, charismatic screen presence. Drawing on his fans and tapping into hero hunger, the film should find solid footing at the boxoffice.

Like the 1973 Joe Don Baker starrer -- a hit that spawned two sequels, a telefilm and a short-lived series -- this version is inspired by the true story of Tennessee sheriff Pusser. But here the central character, unmarried and ultra-buff, is not an unlikely savior. To the well-chosen strains of Gregg Allman's "Midnight Rider", we first see Chris Vaughn as a solitary figure on a ferry to Washington state, returning home after eight years in the Army Special Forces.

It's a relief that "Walking" strips Mort Briskin's original screenplay of its cloying family-man angle and tragic elements. That helps to lessen the self-righteousness of an uneasy, if popular, combination of moralizing and head-slamming. But that combustible mix is still the heart of the story.

Paying tribute to the central character's weapon of choice -- a hunk of wood -- the story has been moved to lumber country (Vancouver subs for Kipsat County, Wash.). Expecting to work in the town's mill, like his Father John Beasley), Chris finds it's been shuttered by Jay Hamilton (Neal McDonough, whose ice-blue eyes spell "villain"). After inheriting the plant, the town's lifeblood, Jay has turned his entrepreneurial efforts to a lucrative casino, the front for an even more lucrative drug operation. Emblematic of the Wild Cherry's grip on the town, Chris High' school girlfriend, Deni (Ashley Scott), dances in a peep show at the sensory-overload venue.

For Chris, the casino is an assault on small-town integrity. Ever-vigilant to corruption and wrongdoing, he crosses the powers that be and winds up sliced and left for dead by Jay's goons. Denied legal recourse by the sheriff (Michael Bowen), who considers the casino a "no-fly zone," Chris puts a huge stick of cedar to use in the name of justice and ends up in jail. After baring his impressive torso and its gruesome scars for a jury, he's elected sheriff.

He deputizes his pal Ray (Johnny Knoxville of "Jackass"), a recovering addict, to help him crack Jay's speed-manufacturing business. Adding drugs to the corrosive stew of gambling and prostitution, the adaptation ups the ante on moral certainty with broad strokes: Chris' young teen nephew (Khleo Thomas) has an unspecified medical emergency relating to the ingestion of crystal meth, and Chris and Ray are wholesomely abusive cops as they set out to rid their town of vice.

This lean retelling mercifully compresses the physical attacks on the hero and his family, albeit into unbelievably brazen simultaneous ambushes on the precinct and the Vaughn home. As the senior Vaughn, Beasley makes an impression as a former soldier who must overcome his aversion to guns to protect his wife (Barbara Tarbuck) and single-mom daughter (Kristen Wilson).

Director Kevin Bray keeps the action tight and brutal, from the first casino brawl to the final face-off between Jay and Chris (hatchet vs. tree branch). The cast acquits itself well, with the Rock evincing a quiet balance between humor and brawn. Unlike Baker's Pusser, Chris is not a conflicted man, and the pared-down action loses some of its dramatic tension because there's no doubt that the Rock will prevail -- driving home the point is a low-angle shot of the jeans-clad sheriff, wooden club in hand.

Production designer Brent Thomas and costume designer Gersha Phillips achieve a lived-in look that never calls attention to itself. Glen MacPherson's camerawork captures the setting's natural riches and economic straits, while well-chosen '70s rock tunes help propel the proceedings.

WALKING TALL

MGM Pictures

A Hyde Park Entertainment/Mandeville Films production in association with Burke/Samples/Foster Prods. and WWE Films

Credits:

Director: Kevin Bray

Screenwriters: David Klass, Channing Gibson, David Levien, Brian Koppelman

Based on a screenplay by: Mort Briskin

Producers: Jim Burke, Lucas Foster, Paul Schiff, Ashok Amritraj, David Hoberman

Executive producers: Keith Samples, Vince McMahon

Director of photography: Glen MacPherson

Production designer: Brent Thomas

Music: Graeme Revell

Co-producer: Bill Bannerman

Costume designer: Gersha Phillips

Editors: George Bowers, Robert Ivison

Cast:

Chris Vaughn: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Ray Templeton: Johnny Knoxville

Jay Hamilton: Neal McDonough

Michelle Vaughn: Kristen Wilson

Deni: Ashley Scott

Pete Vaughn: Khleo Thomas

Chris Vaughn Sr.: John Beasley

Connie Vaughn: Barbara Tarbuck

Sheriff Stan Watkins: Michael Bowen

Booth: Kevin Durand

Running time -- 86 minutes

MPAA rating: PG-13 »

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MPAA deems Waters 'Dirty' with NC-17

13 May 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

The MPAA's appeals board has upheld a decision to slap an NC-17 rating on New Line Cinema/Fine Line Features' A Dirty Shame, directed by John Waters. A rep for New Line said Wednesday that the company had not yet made a decision on how to proceed. Representing the edgier type of material New Line was founded upon, A Dirty Shame stars cult British comedian Tracey Ullman as a working-class store owner who turns into a depraved sex addict following a concussion. Johnny Knoxville, Selma Blair and Chris Isaak round out the cast. Waters has made the majority of his films with New Line, dating back to 1971. Two NC-17 films have been released this year -- Sony Pictures Classics Young Adam, from British director David Mackenzie, and Fox Searchlight's Bertolucci-helmed The Dreamers. The two movies have brought in $310,000 and $2.5 million Stateside, respectively. »

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NL sleuths comic 'Hawaiian Dick'

21 April 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

New Line Cinema has picked up the comic book Hawaiian Dick to develop as a starring vehicle for Johnny Knoxville. Damian Shannon and Mark Swift have been brought on board to adapt. Set in 1953, Dick tells the story of a down-on-his-luck big-city detective who is exiled to Hawaii. While there, he gets involved in a kidnapping case of a local island girl who turns up dead but won't stay that way. The comic, by B. Clay Moore and Steven Griffin, first appeared as a three-issue series in 2002 from Image Comics. »

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Walking Tall

29 March 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Opens

Friday, April 2

This might not be your father's Buford Pusser, but the remake of "Walking Tall" remains the tale of a vigilante with a badge -- and a very big stick. As a man of few words who takes on the forces of pure evil in his rural hometown, WWE star-turned-actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is a self-possessed, charismatic screen presence. Drawing on his fans and tapping into hero hunger, the film should find solid footing at the boxoffice.

Like the 1973 Joe Don Baker starrer -- a hit that spawned two sequels, a telefilm and a short-lived series -- this version is inspired by the true story of Tennessee sheriff Pusser. But here the central character, unmarried and ultra-buff, is not an unlikely savior. To the well-chosen strains of Gregg Allman's "Midnight Rider", we first see Chris Vaughn as a solitary figure on a ferry to Washington state, returning home after eight years in the Army Special Forces.

It's a relief that "Walking" strips Mort Briskin's original screenplay of its cloying family-man angle and tragic elements. That helps to lessen the self-righteousness of an uneasy, if popular, combination of moralizing and head-slamming. But that combustible mix is still the heart of the story.

Paying tribute to the central character's weapon of choice -- a hunk of wood -- the story has been moved to lumber country (Vancouver subs for Kipsat County, Wash.). Expecting to work in the town's mill, like his Father John Beasley), Chris finds it's been shuttered by Jay Hamilton (Neal McDonough, whose ice-blue eyes spell "villain"). After inheriting the plant, the town's lifeblood, Jay has turned his entrepreneurial efforts to a lucrative casino, the front for an even more lucrative drug operation. Emblematic of the Wild Cherry's grip on the town, Chris High' school girlfriend, Deni (Ashley Scott), dances in a peep show at the sensory-overload venue.

For Chris, the casino is an assault on small-town integrity. Ever-vigilant to corruption and wrongdoing, he crosses the powers that be and winds up sliced and left for dead by Jay's goons. Denied legal recourse by the sheriff (Michael Bowen), who considers the casino a "no-fly zone," Chris puts a huge stick of cedar to use in the name of justice and ends up in jail. After baring his impressive torso and its gruesome scars for a jury, he's elected sheriff.

He deputizes his pal Ray (Johnny Knoxville of "Jackass"), a recovering addict, to help him crack Jay's speed-manufacturing business. Adding drugs to the corrosive stew of gambling and prostitution, the adaptation ups the ante on moral certainty with broad strokes: Chris' young teen nephew (Khleo Thomas) has an unspecified medical emergency relating to the ingestion of crystal meth, and Chris and Ray are wholesomely abusive cops as they set out to rid their town of vice.

This lean retelling mercifully compresses the physical attacks on the hero and his family, albeit into unbelievably brazen simultaneous ambushes on the precinct and the Vaughn home. As the senior Vaughn, Beasley makes an impression as a former soldier who must overcome his aversion to guns to protect his wife (Barbara Tarbuck) and single-mom daughter (Kristen Wilson).

Director Kevin Bray keeps the action tight and brutal, from the first casino brawl to the final face-off between Jay and Chris (hatchet vs. tree branch). The cast acquits itself well, with the Rock evincing a quiet balance between humor and brawn. Unlike Baker's Pusser, Chris is not a conflicted man, and the pared-down action loses some of its dramatic tension because there's no doubt that the Rock will prevail -- driving home the point is a low-angle shot of the jeans-clad sheriff, wooden club in hand.

Production designer Brent Thomas and costume designer Gersha Phillips achieve a lived-in look that never calls attention to itself. Glen MacPherson's camerawork captures the setting's natural riches and economic straits, while well-chosen '70s rock tunes help propel the proceedings.

WALKING TALL

MGM Pictures

A Hyde Park Entertainment/Mandeville Films production in association with Burke/Samples/Foster Prods. and WWE Films

Credits:

Director: Kevin Bray

Screenwriters: David Klass, Channing Gibson, David Levien, Brian Koppelman

Based on a screenplay by: Mort Briskin

Producers: Jim Burke, Lucas Foster, Paul Schiff, Ashok Amritraj, David Hoberman

Executive producers: Keith Samples, Vince McMahon

Director of photography: Glen MacPherson

Production designer: Brent Thomas

Music: Graeme Revell

Co-producer: Bill Bannerman

Costume designer: Gersha Phillips

Editors: George Bowers, Robert Ivison

Cast:

Chris Vaughn: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Ray Templeton: Johnny Knoxville

Jay Hamilton: Neal McDonough

Michelle Vaughn: Kristen Wilson

Deni: Ashley Scott

Pete Vaughn: Khleo Thomas

Chris Vaughn Sr.: John Beasley

Connie Vaughn: Barbara Tarbuck

Sheriff Stan Watkins: Michael Bowen

Booth: Kevin Durand

Running time -- 86 minutes

MPAA rating: PG-13 »

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11 items from 2004


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