When he appeared in Ben Stiller’s pitch-black, Hitchcockian comedy “The Cable Guy” in 1996, Jim Carrey seemed poised to become the successor to Jerry Lewis as an inspired physical comic with a gift for tapping into the the darkest and unruliest aspects of the (North) American self.
But the blistering reviews for that film seemed to drive Carrey back into the safe terrain of mildly provocative likeability (“Liar, Liar,” “The Truman Show”), from which he has only occasionally emerged (as in last year’s long delayed “I Love You, Philip Morris”). As Carrey approaches 50, is it too late for him to recover the brilliance he displayed in his 1990s peak?
A new Blu-ray of “The Cable Guy” features nearly 30 minutes of trims and cut scenes, all fully mixed and scored — which suggests that they were cut from the film at a very late stage in the production process, most likely after some unfortunate preview screenings. In particular, the family dinner sequence — now almost doubled in length and full of some of the most grotesquely creative contortions Carrey ever imagined for himself — offers concrete evidence of just how substantial Carrey’s gifts are, and how little he’s been allowed to explore them. A review here in the New York Times.
It’s a sad day for the movies, and I’m not referring to the results of last night’s Hollywood party. We’ve lost both Annie Girardot — perhaps the most representative French actress of the 1970s, as well as the female lead in Visconti’s “Rocco and His Brothers” — and the director and producer Gary Winick. Gary, who was only 49, had a talent and ambition beyond many of the films he was allowed to make, after his 2004 “13 Going On 30” helped establish the outlines of the contemporary chick-flick. I had the privilege of working with him on a book that regrettably never came to fruition about his experiences as a pioneer of low-cost, digital filmmaking with the company, InDigEnt, he formed with John Sloss in the wake of his unexpected commercial success. He was a lovely guy and a genuine visionary; I’ll miss him very much.