‘Mysteries’ Finally Opens in Theaters

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh is finally opening today in limited release. If you are in New York, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, then you too can go and see Jon Foster, Sienna Miller, and Peter Sarsgaard bring Michael Chabon’s first movie to the big screen.

But should you?

Let’s face it, the reviews, well, they ain’t that pretty. And there’s a reason it’s taken more than a year since it opened at Sundance in 2007 for the movie to finally to get distribution. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gives the film only two out of five stars, calling it “artificial” and says “to call it ‘inspired by’ [Chabon’s novel would be a stretch.” Ebert has some good words for the cast, noting “some well-developed performances for such an underdeveloped screenplay” thanks to Sarsgaard and Mena Suvari, among others. But still, Ebert doesn’t sound thrilled.

A.O. Scott of The New York Times says “even the most passionate fan of Pittsburgh-in-the-’80s-crazy-summer-coming-of-age stories is likely to be disappointed” by Mysteries, “a clumsy and confused adaptation” of Chabon’s novel. David Wiegand of the San Francisco Chronicle calls it an “earnest but unconvincing film” missing “the edge, charm and drily pointed cultural observations that made Chabon’s 1988 debut so auspicious.”

Almost all the reviews compare Rawson Marshall Thurber’s film to last weekend’s other coming-of-age flick, Adventureland, with the implication being your money is better spent watching that over what Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune calls a “slick” but ultimately “fake” film. Indeed, out of 139 reviews, Rotten Tomatoes says 88 percent were positive for Adventureland; of the 16 reviews for Mysteries, only 11 percent were good.

If you want to judge for yourself, you can find the trailer over at Apple. I myself will probably go this weekend just to see for myself if it’s as bad as it sounds. But don’t say I didn’t warn you in advance.

Chabon Revising ‘John Carter of Mars’ Script

In yesterday’s item by Deadline Hollywood Daily about Michael Chabon switching agents, it mentioned that he was attached to write a script for Disney’s John Carter of Mars. Having never heard that before, I checked in with Chabon to see if it was accurate. The answer is yes.

“I’ve been hired to do some revisions to an already strong script by Andrew Stanton and Mark Andrews,” Chabon said. “I wrote my original screenplay The Martian Agent back in 1995 because I wished I could do [Edgar Rice] Burroughs’s Barsoom. So this is pretty much a dream come true for me.”

Disney got the option rights to Burrough’s 11-volume series in 2007 after the rights lapsed at Paramount Pictures. Andrew Stanton, the writer and director of Finding Nemo and WALL-E, is set to direct. It’s expected to hit theaters in 2012.

Chabon Switches Hollywood Agents

Michael Chabon has left longtime Hollywood agents for a new team, industry blog Deadline Hollywood Daily reported Wednesday.

Chabon is leaving Creative Artists Agency to be represented by United Talent Agency, Nikki Finke’s insider blog reported. UTA reportedly battled it out against rival agency Endeavor Talent Agency to sign Chabon. The agency will handle his screenwriting gigs, which has included Spider-Man 2. Chabon is still signed up as the screenwriter for the long-stalled adaptation of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.

Deadline Hollywood says Chabon will also continue to be represented by New York publishing agent Mary Evans and David Colden of the Beverly Hills entertainment law firm Colden McKuin & Frankel.

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New Chabon Book Out in October

The release date is set for Michael Chabon’s next book.

Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures & Regrets of a Husband, Father & Son has a release date of October 9, 2009, according to Amazon. The collection of essays will run 320 pages. Previous published reports have said the book will include his non-fiction writing on the subject of what it’s like being a man in terms of being a son, a father and a husband.

No cover image is included with the solicitation. The book carries a cover price of $25.99.

‘Mysteries’ Trailer Online

The trailer for the film adaptation of Mysteries of Pittsburgh is now online.

The movie, which languished for months without a distributor lined up, is finally set to hit theaters, although just for a limited release. The movie will hit screens in New York on March 27, and will then jump over to Los Angeles on April 4.