Sunday, April 21, 2024

Sean Penn’s First Movie in Four Years Goes Straight to Video Thanks to Mel Gibson, Playing in 1 Theater in US


Sean Penn’s first movie in six years has gone straight to video– and to one movie theater in the country, all thanks to Mel Gibson.

“The Professor and the Madman,” starring and produced by Gibson, is playing at the Kent Theater in Coney Island, Brooklyn. That’s it, unless someone can tell us if they’ve seen it in their neck of the woods. Fandango has no other listings.

But “P&M” is on Amazon Prime Video and other streaming services. It’s dead on arrival.

Penn’s last movie was “The Gunman” in 2015. I’m not sure why he’s missed so much time at this juncture of his career, even as a director. But “P&M” was destined to be a disaster from the start.

Of course, any alignment with Mel Gibson would be a bad for a mainstream actor. No studio wants to work with him, nor do any serious distributors. Vertical Entertainment, which is handling this one, also gave us John Travolta’s “Gotti.”

This would be Gibson’s second movie to die on release in just a few weeks. In April he gave us “Dragged Across Concrete,” which almost no one saw, and that was just as well.

Meantime, Gibson is at the Cannes film market (not festival– let’s make that clear) trying to double down on his reputation as an anti-Semite. He’s hawking a satire about a rich Jewish family called “Rothchild,” in which he plays a sinister, chiseling grandfather whose bastard grandson (Shia LaBeouf) is trying to kill him.


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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