I fell asleep way early tonight, hence why I’m up at the ungodly hour of 4:00 a.m. writing a post on something random I came across on the Internet.
Mathieu Kassovitz has unexplainably earned my undying love of some sort. Really, you just have to have his name on the poster for me to sit through it, whether he’s directing or acting. I actually really enjoy The Crimson Rivers, which he directed, even though it’s chock full of problems and all sorts of flaws that normally would make me needle a movie endlessly. My love, the sense it does not make, what can I say?
It probably doesn’t hurt that Kassovitz has worked in tandem for years with Vincent Cassel, who I would steal in a heartbeat adore, so that’s probably working in his favor too.
And even when Kassovitz has made some crap — which he has — I understood why, I suppose. No director can have a perfect track record. Gothika got made, I suspect, so that he could have a shot at bigger/better projects outside of France. He might have needed the money.
Whatevs. I can deal with that.
And then came the whispers about Babylon A.D., a movie that’s very him and very not him all at the same time, and it was exciting! And fun! And you could feel the bad-assery just jumping off the very rumors at you! But then, it got confirmed! And casting rumors started floating around, and Vincent Cassel was being bandied about and oh, I was all over that. You know it.
Then I started getting that sinking feeling in my stomach like things were going sour when I read this article from Twitch a while ago. Excerpt is from that article:
we read that Cassel said that he lost touch with Kassovitz in “an ego accident.” He laughs. “I don’t know exactly what happened, but he is different from the man I met years ago. I built my identity with Kassovitz…. Which is true, some would argue that Kassovitz’ 1995 film La Haine was the film that catapulted both men into the spotlight.
Emphasis from Twitch.
Awww, hell. That’s so much wrong. They hung up their “Best Friends” necklaces and stopped writing “VINCENT + MATHIEU = BF4EVA” on their scripts, I guess. Sadness.
Regardless of what happened, it started to become pretty clear that Cassel was not going to be involved in anything on this one, and then came the news that Vin Diesel had been cast.
You know that’s no good when Vin Diesel is cast. It reeks of “Oh, shit, this dude is making something potentially unmarketable and we need name recognition.” And then someone went and wrote a memo about interfacing and corporate togetherness or something.
I really hate to rag on Vin Diesel. I’m sure he’s a very nice man. In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed both Pitch Black AND The Chronicles of Riddick. But let’s face it; Diesel’s career has been targeted to your gearhead, late teens/early twenties American male. Between The Fast and the Furious and crap like A Man Apart, he’s not stretching much. Casting him was like putting the Black Death on this movie for me.
Months went by and I didn’t hear much, aside from the usual promotional buzz. I wasn’t really feeling very good about what I was seeing, but I was holding out some small sliver of hope. I wasn’t going to let my candle go out, no sir — I sat through Birthday Girl for this fool — and then I read this:
“I’m very unhappy with the film,” he says. “I never had a chance to do one scene the way it was written or the way I wanted it to be. The script wasn’t respected. Bad producers, bad partners, it was a terrible experience.”
“It’s pure violence and stupidity,” he admits.
OH HI, THAT’S SO NOT GOOD.
While Kassovitz is pointing fingers at everyone but himself, you can’t help but think that maybe some of this is his own fault. Or maybe not. Who knows? Either way, it’s a very bad, bad thing when the director of a film is telling the press, “Guess what? My movie blows so hard it’s not going to make any money.”
What’s worse is when Vin Diesel notices.
Having just completed production of the fourth installment of The Fast and the Furious, he had not seen a cut of the film in six months. “Am I even in the movie any more, or am I on the cutting room floor?” the actor joked. Fox could not be reached for comment on this story.
Uh…good feelings gone. Seriously, all Fast and the Furious cracks aside, when Vin Diesel is all like, “Hey, dude, what the hell happened to me in this movie?” said movie probably has some really glaring issues. Anvil-sized issues.
And finally from Monsieur Kassovitz:
“I’m ready to go to war against them, but I can’t because they don’t give a s–t.”
I don’t think there’s any good way to spin that, really.
What’s sad is that the whole project seemed really messed up from the beginning. It’s like a perfect storm of sucktastic badness that you know will never be fixed, not with a “Director’s Cut” or anything like that. How awful.
What’s really disappointing is that I had such high hopes for poor Mathieu. Now? Not so much. Boo. As far as Diesel goes, ehhh. And with regards to Vincent Cassel? Call me, Vincent. Merci.
(Note to Mathieu: Send Vincent some candy and flowers or something, Jesus. Kiss and make up already.)