First Sundance Deal -- A Snappy $5 Million to Snap Up a Stinker

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Put this item under the category of "Good New/Bad News." The upside is that a movie has just sold out of the Sundance Film Festival at a time when money is short and cries of doom for indie movies have infected Robert Redford's Utah film festival like a virus. And yet here is Senator Distribution shelling out a cool $5 million for the police drama Brooklyn's Finest. Yup, it's a gigunda deal and on the festival's opening weekend yet. So what's the downside? The movie is a steaming pile of inbred TV crap. No offense to the leading actors: Richard Gere, Ethan Hawke and Don Cheadle as cops and Wesley Snipes as the bad guy. They're above-the-call-of-duty actors. But all the flashy directing tricks trotted out by Training Day's Antoine Fuqua can't disguise that this is Cop Show 101 baloney decked out with intimations of Greek tragedy. Word is Fuqua will be asked to change the ending, which plays like Taxi Driver as directed by Michael Bay. I'd start the changes with the pretentious beginning and move on from there. The really depressing thing about the sale is that Sundance is supposed to be about fresh talent thinking outside the box. Brooklyn's Finest is so far inside the box you can smell the cardboard. Kill me now."

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