Film intelligence: Dirty Harry cleans up our economic mess

Every week there are dozens of film news stories. Every week, we read them all and bring you the five most important ones in the single most important blog post you’ll ever read (today [at this moment]).

1. “Get off my Super Bowl ad.”

Movie stars are a familiar sight at the Super Bowl thanks to all the teasers for summer blockbusters, but last Sunday’s game between the Giants and Patriots included a seriously unexpected movie star cameo. Clint Eastwood’s surprisingly inspirational Chrysler ad “Halftime in America” pimped cars — and our country — rather than a movie, and it drew the ire of politicians and delighted auteurist film scholars in the market for affordable crossover vehicles with both low APR financing and the backing of the guy who made FIREFOX. Perhaps most surprisingly: the spot, co-written by poet Matthew Dickman and acclaimed novelist Smith Henderson, was directed by GEORGE WASHINGTON and PINEAPPLE EXPRESS filmmaker David Gordon Green. It might be the most powerful film Green’s directed in almost a decade. [Slate]

2. CAIN Gets Re-raised

Some inspiration for any movie lover who’ve watched a film and thought they could do better: over at Indiewire, filmmaker and editor Peet Gelderblom took Brian De Palma’s film RAISING CAIN and re-cut it into a form closer to De Palma’s original vision before he, in a fit of frustration, completely revised the movie in the editing room. Gelderblom’s feature length RAISING CAIN RE-CUT (which you can watch for a limited time at Indiewire’s Press Play blog) is a fascinating and effective version of De Palma’s work; it, along with the recent Sundance hit ROOM 237, suggest a new generation of “film critic filmmakers” who are critiquing and reworking preexisting films on a massive scale. For more on that topic, check out a this piece I wrote on And then go re-cut a movie yourself. Just not GHOSTBUSTERS. That one’s perfect. [Press Play]

3. Checking in to ROOM 237

Speaking of ROOM 237, it got acquired for theatrical distribution this week by IFC Films. This unusual documentary, directed by Rodney Ascher, explores Stanley Kubrick’s THE SHINING through the eyes of its most obsessive fans. Critics at Sundance went crazier than Jack Torrance for the film, but many speculated that Ascher’s technique — which illustrates his interview subjects’ commentary with clips from Kubrick’s filmography — would make it difficult to release the project commercially for legal reasons. Difficult, it seems, but not impossible; IFC plans to release the film theatrically and on day and date VOD later in 2012. And now let’s move on to our #4 story, before all this work with no play turns me into a homicidal psychopath running around in a hedge maze. Mostly because I have no idea where I’d find a hedge maze in Brooklyn. [Deadline]

4. “I, The Rock, Do Solemnly Swear…”

Actor, wrestler, action star and guy who knew Osama Bin Laden was dead before the press did Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, has a new movie opening tomorrow, the gramatically intimidating JOURNEY 2 THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND, so he’s out promoting it. In one interview he made an interesting announcement: his intention to someday run for public office, perhaps even for President of the United States. “Right now the best way that I can impact the world is through entertainment,” he said. “One day, and that day will come, I can impact the world through politics.” I’ll vote for you, The Rock. As long as Stone Cold Steve Austin is your Vice President.[The Huffington Post]

5. Will Ferrell Stings the New Orleans Hornets

Will Ferrell seems to spend most of his time these days goofing off. He didn’t take a lucrative contract for a national Super Bowl ad like Clint Eastwood; instead, he made a local ad for Old Milwaukee that only aired in Nebraska. He also just popped up in a very bizarre cameo in TIM AND ERIC’S BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE, and his next feature, CASA DE MI PADRE, is presented entirely in Spanish. To top it all off, last night Will Ferrell introduced the NBA game between the Chicago Bulls and the New Orleans Hornets as if he was back in his underrated basketball comedy SEMI-PRO, teeing up the players with bizarre and hilarious fictitious facts (“At guard, 6’5″ from Italy — ironically he hates Italian food — Marco Belinelli!”). Can you get nominated for an Oscar for announcing a sports game? I’m asking for a friend. [Entertainment Weekly/USA Today]