Would you rather spend December in Detroit or Malibu? For some intrepid film crews, the answer is snowy Motown, at least as long as the penny-pinching new regime in Lansing keeps alive the state's very seasonally appropriate spirit of giving, in the form of huge tax incentives for film production. Ho-ho-ho, Gov.-elect Snyder!
Giant Mechanical Man
Starring: Topher Grace, Jenna Fischer, Malin Akerman
The buzz: We are slightly disappointed that, despite the misleading title, this one is not a super-awesome Japanese sci-fi monster romp, but a rom-com about a silver-suited street performer and a shy zookeeper. I know, right? The film is written and directed by Lee Kirk, husband of Office sweetheart Jenna Fischer, which may explain why she landed the lead role, opposite Chris Messina. King of smarm Topher Grace plays the slicker romantic rival, and Malin Akerman (Watchmen) will be around to heat things up with her absurd hotness. Filming got under way last Thursday, with the production headquarters at the Detroit Zoo, where presumably they'll have to shoot inside the penguin house just to stay warm.
Starring: Aaron Paul
The buzz: Formerly known as Right Angle, this indie drama stars Aaron Paul, one of the stars of the much-lauded cable sensation Breaking Bad. Paul plays a quadriplegic man struggling to cope with his newfound post-accident reality, so expect big laughs and boffo-soccko action. This modest production has commandeered a house in the normally quiet and cozy tree-lined burb of Huntington Woods, in a spot that faces the zoo, where the above production is also under way. All this excitement is going to have the ladies at the rec center abuzz with chatter.
Was that '80's tough guy Tom Berenger (Major League, Platoon) shopping for boutique soap and handmade knickknacks last Saturday at the Detroit Urban Craft Fair? Why, yes it was; but why he was in town is less clear, though he did do some work on an indie Civil War yarn called War Flowers in town over the summer, and he may have been called back for post-production follow through. Or he just may have really needed an Alice Cooper nightlight from the lovely gals at Glass Action.
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