Tag Archives: Paul Giamatti

Full Cast Announced for FX’s “Hoke”

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FX has officially completed casting for their upcoming series, “Hoke.” According to the finalized cast list, the series will star star Paul Giamatti, Oona Chaplin, John Carroll Lynch, Robert Wisdom, Jordi Mollà and Tammy Blanchard.

“Hoke” is a darkly comedic drama based on Charles Willeford’s series of novels “Sideswipe,” “New Hope for the Dead” and “The Way We Die Now”. It is a story of mid-life crisis and murder that features the hardboiled and possibly insane homicide detective, “Hoke Moseley” (Giamatti), in pre-chic Miami circa early 1980s.

Oona Chaplin plays “Ellita Sanchez,” a sharp young homicide detective recently promoted from dispatcher to Hoke’s new partner. John Carroll Lynch plays “Bill Henderson,” an old guard Miami PD detective and Hoke’s former partner who is equally as miserable in the recently diversified department. Robert Wisdom is “Major Brownley,” the head of the Miami PD Homicide Squad who has a long history with Hoke and his antics. Jordi Mollà plays “Armando Zuniga,” a sociopathic Cuban man who arrives on the shores of Miami in the rumpled, faded clothing of a peasant Cuban refugee and integrates into the city posing as a famous poet of the Cuban people. Tammy Blanchard plays “Loretta Hickey,” the striking mother of a murdered drug addict who Hoke comes across while investigating the case.

The pilot episode of “Hoke” was written by Scott Frank who will also direct the pilot episode. Frank will later serve as co-showrunner with David Manson if the show goes to series. Frank, Manson, Curtis Hanson, Carol Fenelon, Paul Giamatti and Dan Carey serve as executive producers.

“Hoke” is produced by FX Productions, and production on the pilot will begin this spring in Miami.

John Dies At The End Is Ridiculous, Hilarious, Suspenseful, and All Together Weird – Review

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Directed by Don Coscarelli

I’ve been wanting to see this movie since I first heard of it online and saw the trailer. Plus Paul Giamatti is in it and he is golden is almost every film he has been in. When I found out it was based on a book I decided to read it first then watch it. The novel was written by David Wong (which is actually a pen name of the editor in chief of Cracked, which should give you a hint to the humor you can expect). It follows David and his best friend John and their life/adventures after taking a mysterious drug named Soy Sauce.

What first attracted me to the novel was its “plot description” which was incredibly enigmatic and well, weird.

STOP.

You should not have touched this book with your bare hands.

NO, don’t put it down. It’s too late.

They’re watching you.

My name is David Wong. My best friend is John. Those names are fake. You might want to change yours.

You may not want to know about the things you’ll read on these pages, about the sauce, about Korrok, about the invasion, and the future. But it’s too late. You touched the book. You’re in the game. You’re under the eye.

The only defense is knowledge. You need to read this book, to the end. Even the part with the bratwurst. Why? You just have to trust me.

The important thing is this:

The drug is called Soy Sauce and it gives users a window into another dimension.

John and I never had the chance to say no.

You still do.

Unfortunately for us, if you make the right choice, we’ll have a much harder time explaining how to fight off the otherworldly invasion currently threatening to enslave humanity. I’m sorry to have involved you in this, I really am. But as you read about these terrible events and the very dark epoch the world is about to enter as a result, it is crucial you keep one thing in mind:

None of this is was my fault.

The book itself is relatively long at a little under 500 pages and is written as if someone is literally sitting in front of you telling you a story. That is because the story starts out with the  narrator, David, telling his story to Arnie, a reporter and therefore the audience. It is often incoherent, David gets distracted during the storytelling, is proven to be an unreliable narrator and lacks traditional prose. However, it is VERY enticing albeit a little tedious at times. The book itself is broken up into three major incidents titled as separate books all together in the binding of this novel. With the framing device of David recounting the story to a reporter who wants to write a feature about David and John.

10/10 would read again.

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The film adaptation started out promising in terms of following the novel. It was dead on for the first 20 minutes or so. The first deviation readers will notice is that several major characters have been dropped in order to streamline the plot. Also they combined the three major incidents in the novel to create one story in the movie. At first I was a little bummed when I realized they had done this but you can’t expect to much when adapting such a long novel. Other fans may be a bit peeved at first as well, but continuing the movie, the director made a great effort to keep the tone of the novel consistent despite cutting stuff out. Also, all but a few of the major parts of the novel were there and that alone would please any fan.

I had never heard or seen the two main actors in the film, Chase Williamson as David Wong, and Rob Mayes as John Cheese. But I was optimistic after I saw the trailer. Williamson perfectly delivers the deadpan wit and ambivalence that David  exudes through every inner dialogue and interaction with John. Mayes picked up the adventurous and eccentric slacker act of John without missing a beat and pulled off a flawless foil for David. Through their interactions, even without reading the book, you can see why the two characters are best friends. 

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The character of Amy was more one-dimensional than I would have liked. In the novel, she is a shy timid girl, with bright red hair, that is prone to vomiting. Her weird behavior is mostly explained as being side effects of the drugs for her missing hand. She is smart and bright and just as adventurous as John and Dave. However, in the movie, she was just another character with few lines, no characterization and she didn’t even have red hair.  I feel like they missed a mark with her and a chance to bring a more dynamic tone to the trio.

Paul Giamatti OWNED his character of Arnie Blondestone. From the moment he sits down with David, he pulls off the skepticism yet interested nature of a journalist covering a supernatural tale. Once his fate is revealed at the end, you can feel the fear in his eyes, in his tone, and in his actions. Giamatti knows how to take a secondary character and make it more believable and more realistic than the writing presents. He is also the only “big name” celebrity in the flick and would be the biggest draw for anyone looking to watch this independent film.

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Overall, given the small budget and independent nature of this film, it looked amazing. The effects were good enough to not be distracting, the acting was superb, and the overall look of the film felt like it was a wide release film. The film utilized one of my favorite techniques of color changing in the scenes which helps propel the story forward without leaving the audience behind emotionally. The restaurant aka “present day” is all oranges/yellows with very saturated colors which gives off a comforting albeit a bit unsettling feeling. The lighting during the storytelling parts are often subdued with de-saturated colors, or bleak with dark shadows giving the audience a sense of foreboding or that danger is always around the corner.

If you like ridiculous, hilarious, suspenseful, and all together weird horror movies that will seriously make you laugh, John Dies At The End is the perfect film for you. It’s great as a standalone movie or as a companion to the novel. Take a moment to enjoy it, you won’t regret it but more likely it will make you want to read the novels and continue the story of John and Dave.

Spoiler Alert: John doesn’t actually die at the end.

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‘John Dies at the End’ Trailer Reveal

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Start with some Bill and Ted, add some Evil Dead, Cheech and Chong, Men in Black and even a dash of A Scanner Darkly, pop it all into a blender and you’ll probably get a black, vile substance which causes hallucinations and one that no intelligent human being would touch with a ten foot pole; no would dare ingest it, that is, except for maybe a couple of pin heads called John and Dave. The bumbling pair are also the heroes in an epic new cult classic in the making called John Dies at the End. Today we’ve got the trailer, hot off of those proverbial presses.

John Dies at the End will hit theaters in limited release, beginning on January 25th. The darkly comedic horror thrill ride comes from the demented mind of Don Coscarelli, who did the screenwriting for the project, inspired from the novel of the same name, written by Jason Pargin, who published it under the pseudonym David Wong.

Don Coscarelli also directs John Dies at the End. If you want to get an idea of the brilliant insanity lurking in the recesses of this man’s mind, just take a gander at his previous work. In 1979 he unveiled Phantasm, which he wrote, directed and produced, starring Michael Baldwin. The villain at the the heart of the tale is a frightening undertaker who transforms the dead into dwarf zombies who assist him in his campaign to take over the world.

The real gem in his body of work, to me; however, remains Bubba Ho-tep, inspired by the novella from Joe R. Lansdale. Bruce Campbell stars in the 2002 release, which is very nearly ‘Nuff Said. The heroes in that film, trying to save the world from zombies, are Elvis Presley, as acted by Campbell, and his side-kick, Jack, played by Ossie Davis. Now Elvis, in an attempt to escape the pressures of his fame, switched places with an impersonator named Sebastian Haff. Haff is the fellow who actually died in 1977, leaving Elvis to a life of impersonating himself. As if that weren’t pure gold on its own, his side-kick Jack, believes himself to be, though it is never proven, President John F. Kennedy. Apparently after the “attempted” assassination, Lyndon Johnson dyed him black and stashed him in a nursing home.

We can only assume the new film, John Dies at the End, will be just as chilling, goofy, and brilliant. The film stars Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes and the exuberant Paul Giamatti. Events unravel as a new drug called Soy Sauce hits the streets. Users explore time and space with each hit, but nothing that otherworldly can go without consequences. Some users are coming back…changed. That means there is in all out invasion going down and only John and Dave can save the world. They’ll give it the old college try at least…. Did I mention they both dropped out of college? Oops.

Paul Giamatti is also helping to executive produce the project. He told Ain’t It Cool News in an interview, that the film was like a “violent adult cartoon” and cutting any of the terrific scenes during the editing process was going to be very painful.

No man, it’s almost like an embarrassment of riches, that thing. It’s almost going to be like what’s going to be tragic is what’s going to have to go, because stuff is going to have to go and it’s like it will kill me whatever goes because you want it all to be in there and you’ve still got to have this stuffed bag of stuff.”

You can watch the trailer below:

Paul Giamatti Signs On To Romeo and Juliet

When you think of a reboot for Romeo And Juliet, there are probably a couple of actors who come to mind that could possibly star in the film. Was Paul Giamatti one of them? He didn’t for me either, but Variety recently reported that he has joined the cast for the remake of the Bard’s classic tale. Continue reading