The 25: Whitlock & Pope’s Most Anticipated Films of 2014 – #10-1

6. Inherent Vice (TBD US & UK)


I love the idea of Thomas Pynchon novels. The mixture of wordplay, anachronistic technology, social trend analysis, paranoia and Hawaiian shirts… it all just promises so much. Then I run into the text, which is built like a solid wall of oblique cultural and linguistic references, and I go and read some Murakami instead. And so it is that of the six Pynchon novels have optimistically bought at various points in my life, I’ve only managed to finish one. Hell, I never even started Mason and Dixon. Now they’re turning Inherent Vice, his seventh work into a movie. This is good news. I can find out how it ends without having to Wikipedia it.

Robert Downey Jr plays ‘Doc’ Sportello, an overly relaxed dropout and private investigator in 1969 California, who spends a certain amount of time getting knocked out, roughed up, seduced and knocked out again. Comparisons to Jeff Lebowski are to be expected. The case is something to do with an ex-girlfriend, real estate, the invention of the internet and a shadowy organisation called The Golden Fang, which may be a criminal cabal, or may just be a dentists’ union.

This movie is like an irresistible force meeting an immovable object, in that Pynchon’s work is so fundamentally linguistic in nature that there should be NO WAY it could ever be successfully adapted. And yet this is being directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia, There Will Be Blood, The Master), who is clearly one of the greatest film-makers working in America today. Something has to give.


Also starring Joaquin Phoenix and Martin Short. In other news, Martin Short lives! – AJP

Next: Captain America: The Winter Soldier >>>

3 thoughts on “The 25: Whitlock & Pope’s Most Anticipated Films of 2014 – #10-1

  1. The thing I’m most interested about for Guardians of the Galaxy is Rocket Raccoon. I’m not talking about the fact that he’s, you know, a Raccoon (with rockets, I assume). I’m talking about the fact that in the comics he has a cockney accent. So he’s a heavily armed outer space procyon… from the East End. But they cast Bradley Cooper. Cue internet outrage: he has to be a cockney! He has to! To which Cooper says… he might do the accent. Might. Bottom line: I really really want Cooper to try the accent. And fail. It would only add to the general insanity that is Guardians of the Galaxy.

    (Side issue; this movie reminds me of Flash Gordon, a movie that is and always will be better than Star Wars).

    • Flash! AAAAHHH! Savior of the Universe!

      Speaking of which: when looking for a precedent to Rocket’s possible lack of accent, Flash Gordon cast Max von Sydow as Ming the Merciless, and look how well that…nevermind.

  2. Another thought: Interstellar will be a new entry in a venerable series of science fiction endevours, which you could call “Through the Wormhole and What We Found There”.

    In Event Horizon they found hell.
    In The Black Hole they found hell, again (thanks, Disney!)
    In Flash Gordon they found Ornella Muti.
    In Pacific Rim it was alien scientists building Godzilla knock-offs.
    No-one can remember what they found in Lost In Space. Spiders or something.
    And in Contact they found Jodie Foster’s dad.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to finding out what destination Christopher Nolan settled on. Could it be a triple whammy for “hell”? As long as it’s not Matthew McConaughey’s childhood dog or what have you, I’m happy.

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