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.