Jacob Aaron Estes

The Details

Hollywood does not look favorably upon suburbia. It’s understandable of course, what with all the illusory perfection and white picket fences, but from Little Children to American Beauty to Home Alone we’ve seen time and again that surface innocence hides infidelity, unhappiness and abandoned children setting deadly traps made from household items. That trend continues with Tobey Maguire‘s latest film where he plays Jeff Lang, a man who seems to have it all. A beautiful wife, a healthy little boy, a job and a home in the suburbs… what more could he want? But when a raccoon starts digging holes in his perfect back yard a chain of events is set in motion that threatens it all. The links in that chain, henceforth known as the details, are a mix of the mundane and the ridiculous, and almost without exception they see Lang behaving like a complete and utter bastard. There are laughs along the way, but as one bad domino after another falls before him he grows further and further away from a believable character we can relate to, and therein lay the film’s biggest issue. Things become a bit too outrageous and Maguire’s dueling expressions of surprise and bemusement aren’t enough to carry viewers along.

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The Details trailer

Though Mean Creek director Jacob Aaron Estes’ latest project, The Details, debuted all the way back at Sundance 2011, it’s just finally gearing up for a real theatrical release come November 2. Why has it sat on the shelf for so long? Maybe it’s just because the idea of watching Spider-Man act like a jerk for a couple of hours is something of a hard sell. From the looks of the film’s new trailer, The Details is a character drama that sees Tobey Maguire cheating on his wife, banging Ray Liotta’s wife, getting another woman pregnant, contemplating murder, toilet training raccoons, appreciating latte art, chatting with Kerry Washington, chatting with Dennis Haysbert, and trying out religion. Okay, so maybe there isn’t anything wrong with those last few things, but the first couple are pretty bad. Is this going to be the sort of lead character who audiences can relate to?

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Move over Snow White: there’s another literary character on the block looking to get a million film projects made about his trials and tribulations, and his name is Victor Frankenstein. It was just earlier today when we reported (with a surprisingly similar headline) on an adaptation of a Frankenstein-themed novel being put together by Sam Raimi, and now there’s more news about another being made by Summit Entertainment. This Dark Endeavor will be an adaptation of a Kenneth Oppel novel that is fully titled “This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein.” While Raimi’s project explores the friendship between Frankenstein and Percy Bysshe Shelley, Summit’s story is about Frankenstein trying to save the life of his twin brother. In order to do so he must find an old alchemist, hang out with his brother’s main squeeze, and go on a dangerous journey to find the components for the Elixir of Life. There promises to be action, adventure, and a love triangle. Not bad for a book about a doctor. The best news about this project is that Let Me In director Matt Reeves has signed on to direct. When I first heard that Hollywood was remaking Let the Right One In, I spent about ten minutes puking in a trashcan, but Reeves actually did a really good job with it. I went into that film feeling a strong bias against its very existence and came out thinking that it had matched the original in many ways and even surpassed it […]

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