Remember when Tim Burton was supposed to direct a Superman film entitled Superman Lives, written by Kevin Smith and starring Nicholas Cage as the Man of Steel? Well, neither do we, but it was definitely a thing.
Kevin Smith’s Tusk opens with the sound of two men laughing at their own jokes, so I guess a doff of the cap is due to the filmmaker for encapsulating his movie so efficiently, right from the jump. It’s not just that we’re hearing podcasters Wallace (Justin Long) and Teddy (Haley Joel Osment) giggling at their own presumed cleverness; we’re hearing filmmaker-turned-podcaster-turned-filmmaker-again Smith giggling at the fact that he even made this movie, devised off-the-cuff during an episode of his “SModcast,” its production put up to a fan vote on Twitter. But it’s not like the cult of Smith — and increasingly, over the past two years, that’s exactly what he’s sculpted his remaining fans into — was going to discourage its fearless leader from making a movie if he wanted to. And, for their trouble, he’s made a movie that they will surely devour without question. I’m just not sure where the hell that leaves the rest of us, because Tusk is a mess.
Another late-summer weekend, more terrible news at the box office: according to Box Office Mojo, last weekend was the worst for movie-going in two years, and barely better than the worst of the last decade. The main reason: nothing to see, since the sole new wide release was a bizarre bit of faith-based Elvis fan fiction called The Identical. It couldn’t even crack the top ten, grossing a miserable $977 per screen, and who’s to blame? Film critics, who drubbed the movie (it’s currently sitting at four percent on Rotten Tomatoes) — at least according to co-star Ashley Judd, who used her Twitter feed to call The Identical “a beautiful, heartfelt movie cynics wait to excoriate & non critics/real people adore it!!”