Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I Am Toepick, The God Of Death

Last night I was going through arcane movie data for reasons too boring to go into here, but I came across something I don't think I'd ever realized before: Tony Gilroy, writer/director of Michael Clayton, wrote the screenplay adaptation for Dolores Claiborne. That was significant to me, because I've long thought of Dolores as the most underrated, and in many ways the most impressive adaptation of a Stephen King novel to date. Generally, King adaptations either end up good movies that are unfaithful to the book (Kubrick's The Shining), faithful adaptations that aren't as good as films (ABC's The Shining), or bad movies that are unfaithful to the book (all the usual suspects like Children of the Corn), but Dolores was notable for changing a lot about the book, from the structure to the details, and still making a movie that was successful and emotionally faithful to the text.

So what else had Tony Gilroy scripted that I didn't know about? Let's go to the IMDb! Well, he was a working stiff, so there isn't a lot on his c.v. that would make you think he had something as good as Michael Clayton in him. So I'm going to disregard duds like Bait, Proof of Life, and Extreme Measures and focus on some of the more...intriguing ones.

-- The Bournes Identity, Supremacy, and Ultimatum. These we knew about, and they're easily the jewels in his crown.

-- Armageddon. Huh. There are six credited writers for this one, including one J.J. Abrams, so I don't know who was called in to doctor whose script, but while this movie always becomes the guiltiest of guilty pleasures when it's on cable, the script never once rises above "mess."

-- The Devil's Advocate. Awesome. Another guilty pleasure here, but if Gilroy was responsible for even half of Pacino's "absentee landlord" speech, I owe him a thank you note.

-- The Cutting Edge. OH MY GOD. You guys! The seminal figure skating romantic dramady of our times! The reason I will always love Moira Kelly!

Man, if I wasn't already rooting for Gilroy to beat Diablo Cody for the Original Screenplay Oscar, I sure am now! The man wrote "Toepick!" and that's all I need to know. Plus, think of the spinoff possibilities!


jessica said...

Nothing -- NOTHING -- compares to Ms. Kelly's oustanding achievements in facial expressions throughout the film. Her eyes spoke more than any character. But here are a couple of evocative lines:

"What is this? The final stages of Ukranian Alcohol Psychosis?!"

"Naked male insecurity really leaves me cold."

--"I don't like to see her unhappy."
--"If I were you, I'd invest in blindfolds."

"All we needed was a little flip."

The Bloody Munchkin said...

Come on! Don't forget the seminal line "Don't forget who said it first!" Kills me every single time. Love it!!!

SP said...

Ohhhh, "Devil's Advocate." I will always, always love Pacino for the scene in which his character mocks Keanu's character, in the course of which Pacino is also directly mocking Keanu Reeves's acting. Hee hee hee.

StickyKeys said...

I actually liked Bait. And while I'll emphasize that I liked it but it wasn't good, I realize that says a lot about my taste. But I don't care, I'm willing to take that loss.

will said...

I am really disappointed that The Pamchenko hasn't found it's way into actual figure skating competitions.