Cajun Invasion in the Land of Enchantment—Washed out of Louisiana, the feature film The Flock is pulling up stakes and moving to New Mexico. The project will bring crew members with it from Louisiana and will employ an additional 72 New Mexicans.
America all but invented the crime film back in the '30s and '40s--blame Warner Brothers and James Cagney for its universal appeal. The French took it over in the '50s and '60s, giving us the likes of Jean-Pierre Melville and Alain Delon--blame them for the very term film noir. Since then, it's been an all-out battle royale over who's got the toughest guys and the most fatale femmes. Is it the Italians with their violent thrillers? Or the Asians with their high-caliber bullet operas? Or the Americans with their Tarantino-esque pulp?
Director Marcos Siega has your typical Hollywood resume: He directed a bunch of music videos (Blink 182, 311, Weezer), cranked out a couple TV show episodes (“Fastlane,” “Veronica Mars”), tried his hand at a hip indie film (Pretty Persuasion), then got roped into directing some generic vehicle for tween star Nick Cannon (the blink-and-you-missed-it Underclassman). It's hard to tell which came first, Siega's hip vanity project or his summer movie sellout. In the end, it doesn't really matter. Pretty Persuasion, hitting theaters on the not-so-hot heels of Underclassman, does everything it can to score cred as a sharp black satire for snarky high schoolers. Unfortunately, Pretty Persuasion goes to a well already tapped-out by the likes of Heathers, Election, Cruel Intentions, Mean Girls and countless others.
United Paramount Network, still stinging from the failure of its “Star Trek” franchise, has been struggling to find its identity. For years now, the network has been content to set up a few nights of low-rated “urban” sitcoms and leave the rest of the week to the sharks. This season, however, finds the network on the verge of what could be its biggest breakout hit. The amusingly titled “Everybody Hates Chris” draws on the comedic star power of Chris Rock to form the backbone of a solid sitcom property.