January 17, 2020

Oh, the things you have to do to be popular!

I'm reading "Universal Tries to Escape Disaster by Patching Up ‘Dolittle’/Script rewrites, adding animal characters delayed release of the costly family film" (WSJ):
In a pivotal scene in Universal Pictures’ “Dolittle,” hitting theaters Friday, the title character—a doctor, played by Robert Downey Jr., who can converse with animals—relieves an ornery beast’s indigestion by removing debris from its rectum. Flatulence jokes ensue. The scene was added late in the filmmaking process, one of several efforts Comcast Corp. ’s Universal made to try to ensure a return on the $175 million it invested in the family-friendly movie, according to a person close to the production.
Robert Downey Jr. recently submitted to the Joe Rogan Experience:



I'm only 26 minutes into it, so I can't tell you if they get to any frank talk about the disaster that is Dr. Dolittle. Joe normally takes a long time warming up his guests, and things often get really good in the second or third hour, but Downey is a big star, and he only sits there for 53 minutes. In the first half, he's shown a great propensity for self-seriousness, so I'm not expecting much.

47 comments:

Known Unknown said...

Spoiler alert: Rogan never gets to Doolittle.

Unknown said...

The real mystery is how in the world they got arguably the most popular actor in the world for this. He can't have needed the money.

OTOH, the original Lofting books (very little of which have actually made it to the screen so far) are charming. Or at least that's how I recall them.

J. Farmer said...

My favorite Robert Downey Jr. moment was when he walked out of the interview with Channel 4's Krishnan Guru-Murthy. He was doing a press junket for Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the reporter thought it was a good venue for bringing up Downey's past drug abuse and relationship with his father.

Unknown said...

Of course 6 year old me could actually sing most of this.

Laslo Spatula said...

To make the movie a 'family-friendly' success they added a bestiality fisting scene?

All the missed opportunities with The Little Mermaid...

I am Laslo.

Big Mike said...

If the funniest scenes are in the trailer -- and for comedies I assume that they are -- then I intend to give this movie a pass. And although I am a fan of Dave Barry, flatulence jokes are not really all that funny.

Howard said...

They actually do get into Doolittle. Mostly about how Bob was drawn to the project now he imagined a Bizarro version of the character how to mind-meld with a director turn off they went.

Annie C. said...

For the first time in ages and ages, I wanted to go to the theater and see a movie.

Robert Downey Jr. and animals. Sounds like I'll give it a pass though. Damn.

Big Mike said...

OTOH, written in cuneiform on a clay tablet is the world's oldest known joke. It is a flatulence joke. So perhaps it's just me.

"This has never been seen in all history, that a woman sat on her husband's lap without farting."

I guess it's all in the delivery.

Unknown said...

Delete
Blogger Laslo Spatula said...

To make the movie a 'family-friendly' success they added a bestiality fisting scene?

All the missed opportunities with The Little Mermaid...


Well there was that joke where Ariel is standing there nude and Scuttle has to guess what's different about her..

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

All re-makes are disasters.

Fernandistein said...

the disaster that is Dr. Dolittle.

That's the official MSM rating?

The main IMDB bell-curve is centered on 7 = a regular movie, and probably good for a kids movie like this, tho with an anomalous number of 1's.

Fernandistein said...

Talking monkeys, what's not to like?

anti-de Sitter space said...

"he's shown a great propensity for self-seriousness"

Is this like a person who has a high percentage of posts dedicated to blabbing about subjects that they claim are not worthy in some way or another?

Does constantly announcing stuff that a person is supposedly (though, obviously, not really) completely avoiding make a blog popular?

I dunno.

BTW, I listened to the whole JRE thing shortly after it came out. Like Althouse, I didn't care for so much fluff jabber. Unlike Althouse, I can recognize that characteristic (though in a different way) here.

IMHO.

J. Farmer said...

@Annie C

For the first time in ages and ages, I wanted to go to the theater and see a movie.

Robert Downey Jr. and animals. Sounds like I'll give it a pass though. Damn.


You don't want to see Like a Boss?

J. Farmer said...

All re-makes are disasters.

Not necessarily. Scarface, The Fly, True Grit, The Departed, etc.

Dave Begley said...

My "Bride of Frankenstein" could be done for $100m with $10m for me.

I do have a controversial (at least to some) animal scene. Decided to keep it. For now.

Lucid-Ideas said...

@Laslo

"All the missed opportunities with the Little Mermaid"

LMAO. A primary antagonist that's half Octopus and cute protagonist with red-hair and fish lady-parts. How very ichthyo-sexual. It would've made billions in Japan.

Seeing Red said...

Didn’t Universal put out Cats?

William said...

Is it worse than Cats? The competition for this year's Razzies is going to be fierce....At least Cats has some good music. I'd rather listen to Taylor Swift sing than to a bear's flatulence.

Unknown said...

"Cats" was 2019 so it's not in the running for the worst of 2020..

rcocean said...

Read the Dr. Doolittle Books as a kid. Was excited to see the Dr. Doolittle movie on TV in the mid-70's and it was a total BORE. What a disappointment. This movie seems to be even worse. Ten times worse.

Dave Begley said...

Yes, Universal had both “Cats” and “Dolittle.” They will be ready for my “Bride of Frankenstein.” Big winner!

Openidname said...

If Dr. Doolittle isn't played by a tubby little guy with a pug nose, count me out. for the same reason, I never saw the Rex Harrison version. I don't want Hollywood pooping on my childhood.

alanc709 said...

I haven't seen anyone mention Eddie Murphy's two Doolittle films. How racist of you all.

Yancey Ward said...

Yeah, it wasn't all that long ago that we had two Doolittle movies with Eddie Murphy. Is there anything orginal any more?

Dave Begley said...

My "Bride of Frankenstein" picks up where Mary Shelley's 1818 novel left off. I do, however, pay homage to the 1931 and 1935 movies.

"It's alive!"

"They belong dead."

"Look, I can make a boat."

Dave Begley said...

My Academy Award speech, "Yeah, the lawyer from Nebraska won. I'd like to thank...."

Dave Begley said...

How's this greatness?

"Charles Edwin Saville, III, during your life you embraced Satan. Your soul is burning in hell for your sins on Earth. I now incinerate your mortal body; never to rise again on the last day."

Leland said...

I was Dolittle curious until I saw the trailers. The trailers are supposed to make me want to see the movie. They had the opposite effect. Unless they adopted the Disney Rogue One trick of showing scenes in the trailer that aren't actually in the movie; I can't imagine the story or CGI being any good.

I haven't seen anyone mention Eddie Murphy's two Doolittle films.

Slow down there skippy. I know about those movies and have seen one. One reason I know Downey's Dolittle looks bad is that the animals in Murphy's Dr. Dolittle were move believable, even if Murphy only used the concept of the "Dr. Dolittle" of the books. The moving pictures shouldn't be so jarring as to take me out of an enjoyable story.

Dave Begley said...

Margaret Saville, "As man and wife we are supposed to have conjugal relations. I need to be fucked more than twice a year."

H/T Hillary Clinton.

Paul Snively said...

Oof. I got just over 12 minutes in, and I knew the interview was effectively over when Rogan pushed one time too many on "Are you sure you wouldn't come back to Iron Man?" and laid out his completely vacuous spiel, and Downey's perfect reaction was a completely disgusted "great." I can't blame him, at all, for mentally checking out at that point, regardless of how successfully he did or didn't keep talking.

langford peel said...

“Talking monkeys, what's not to like?“

I don’t know.

Not everyone liked the Obama administration.

Dave Begley said...

"Blackstone says that marriage is one of the great relations of private life."

H/T to Justice Tony Kennedy.

narciso said...

a confession, I used to hate Robert downey jr in his hipster faze from back to school to at least air America, I found 'kiss kiss bang bang' was ok, and I warmed to his parts in the marvel series, and parts of tropic thunder are amusing in parts

bagoh20 said...

Ah, the go-to in comedy when you want a big laugh leading to big profits: Fart! Anybody can be funny with that.

reader said...

So this movie is a remake (Robert Downey Jr) of a remake (Eddie Murphy) of a movie (Rex Harrison) based on a book. My nana read the book to my sister and me when we were very little. I haven’t seen the two older movies, aside from a few scenes when the Rex Harrison version was on tv, and won’t see this one.

Josephbleau said...

When I read the Blog title I thought it was about the women suing Harvey Weinstein. Honest.

Known Unknown said...

"The Departed"

C'mon. The original Infernal Affairs was better.

And yeah, they touch on the character of Doolittle and Downey's interpretation, but most of the interview is spent elsewhere.

Known Unknown said...

""Are you sure you wouldn't come back to Iron Man?" and laid out his completely vacuous spiel, and Downey's perfect reaction was a completely disgusted "great." I can't blame him, at all, for mentally checking out at that point, regardless of how successfully he did or didn't keep talking."

This was a weak Rogan podcast. The upside to Rogan is you get pretty unfiltered honesty for about 3 hours. Downey wasn't quite as interesting as he should be because he realizes his action was to "do PR for the new movie."

LordSomber said...

The Rex Harrison version (1967) was a flop at the time but I still loved it as a kid.

narciso said...

The whole infernal series, ive only seen the first one.

narciso said...

Rogan is not the show, youd do if youre promoting doolittle, i think he wanted to do it as a change of pace for the last 11 years of big canvas action drama.

Josephbleau said...

The only thing not to like about Doolittle is that he did not put one of his 500 lb bombs up Tojo’s ass.

Josephbleau said...

Oh, was that a different person?

J. Farmer said...

@Known Unknown:

C'mon. The original Infernal Affairs was better.

Oh, I agree. I absolutely loved Internal Affairs. But I still wouldn't call The Departed a "disaster." Now if they were ever to do a western remake of Chungking Express, that might be a different story.

JAORE said...

If flatulence jokes are needed to save your movie.... it's a real stinker.