Good Morning Hollywood, July 13: Mad Mel

The gallery is torn on whether Mel Gibson’s career is dead for now or dead for good

In this morning’s roundup of movie news ‘n’ notes from around the web, the gallery is torn on whether Mel Gibson’s career is dead for now or dead for good.

Steven Zeitchik, who last week opined that Mel Gibson’s career was essentially dead, considers the latest Gibson tape and concludes that Gibson’s career is really, really dead.  And none of Gibson’s onetime Hollywood pals – Jodie Foster, Danny Glover, producer Graham King – are willing to address the issue.  For the print edition of the Times, Zeitchik also offers a fuller recap of the situation, which simply reinforces the idea that Gibson is finished: I mean, when an expert witness uses the sentence "I don't think O.J. Simpson will ever make another movie" as a point of comparison, things don’t look good.   (24 Frames)

Mel GibsonPatrick Goldstein, meanwhile, looks at Hollywood’s “situational ethics,” and concludes that Gibson is going to have a very hard time finding a new agent after being dropped by WME: “Every talent agency has a cadre of important African American clients who would be outraged — and rightfully so — if their agency made a play for Gibson as a client.”  He thinks that might change one day … but not anytime soon.  (The Big Picture)

And one last item about Mad Mel, for now.  This came from David Letterman’s monologue Monday Night: “British petroleum has successfully lowered a containment cap … over Mel Gibson.”  And there was a Top Ten list, too.  (The Late Show)

With money tightening and film financing getting tougher and tougher, some indie filmmakers have turned to “crowd-funding,” which essentially asks ordinary moviegoers to give money in exchange for special goodies, or a spot in the end credits.  And apparently, famous indie directors are trying it too – at least David Lynch is, offering a poster, t-shirt or tote bag sporting a self-portrait to anyone who makes a $50 donation to help fund a documentary he’s currently making about himself.  The film is “LYNCHthree,” the portrait is abstract, and leave it to Lynch to offer a (drawn) self-portrait in exchange for money to make a (filmed) self-portrait.  (The Independent)

Reacting to the rumor that Joaquin Phoenix (!) has been offered the role of the Incredible Hulk in “The Avengers,” Christopher Campbell suggests five actors who’d be better than the mercurial Mr. Phoenix.  His choices: Billy Crudup, Paul Rudd, Adam Sandler, Casey Affleck and Aisha Tyler.  I think he’s serious about Crudup and Affleck.  (Cinematical)

Eugene Hernandez surveys the Film Society of Lincoln Center, which in the past week has announced the glitzier-than-last year choice of David Fincher’s “The Social Network” to open the New York Film Festival, and the next day replaced chief Mara Manus with former AFI Fest artistic director Rose Kuo.  The Film Society hasn’t given many details about why the change took place, but Hernandez rounds up two years worth of turmoil, “a period of considerable change” for the New York film institution.  (indieWIRE)

I missed this last week, but it’s worth a look back: cartoonish Ruben Bolling explains how “everything was better when you were 12” – which means, he insists, that when today’s 12-year-olds are in their 40s, they’ll “write hyper-articulate justifications of [the] genius” of The Last Airbender.”  It’s an intriguing thesis … except that I talked to a 13-year-old over the weekend who told me that the movie was terrible.  But maybe if he was 12 he would have loved it.  (Tom the Dancing Bug)