The term “black comedy” has become a bit shopworn of late, covering a wide variety of films from mildly edgy dramedies to movies with a truly morbid sense of humor. So let’s try and expand the designation a bit and call The Guard a dark gray comedy. It’s a fitting label, as the film takes place in the dingy, cloud-covered environs of coastal Ireland. And you couldn’t mistake its sense of humor for the lighthearted, good-natured laughs of a Tom Hanks comedy. Put it on a shelf next to other self-mocking, hardscrabble Irish comedies like Neil Jordan’s movie The Butcher Boy or Martin McDonagh’s stage play The Lieutenant of Inishmore, however, and you’ll find a fitting kinship.
Out: Charlie Sheen. In: Ashton Kutcher. This is the most painfully obvious transition of the upcoming fall 2011 season. In one of the most high-profile (and well-tweeted) Hollywood feuds of all time, “Two and a Half Men” producer Chuck Lorre booted troubled actor Charlie Sheen. And hired Ashton Kutcher to replace him. Sheen is busy shopping his TV adaptation of the Adam Sandler film Anger Management. So far, no network seems interested in even bankrolling it. Kutcher, meanwhile, steps into a sweet, $800,000-per-episode gig. Producers have estimated (perhaps a bit optimistically) that the Sheen-less season premiere of the CBS sitcom will draw 50 million viewers. Sheen, meanwhile, got a job hosting Insane Clown Posse’s annual Gathering of the Juggalos.
Eric Morrell—an art director, set decorator and props stylist out of New York—is looking for art department interns for an upcoming feature shooting here in New Mexico. The film is described as “a low-budget 3D feature with name talent.” (I believe that translates into the Zachary Quinto-produced psychedelic horror thriller The Banshee Chapter.) The film is scheduled to film in and around Albuquerque through September. On-the-job responsibilities include: “set dressing, runs, painting, small building and graphics.” No experience is necessary, but interested candidates “must have a willingness to learn” and are expected to make a commitment for at least three days a week. If you’re interested in being part of Morrell’s art department, send a résumé and a small paragraph about why you want the job to Eric Morrell at email@example.com.