Man alive has Nick Cassavetes' Alpha Dog been through a lot of crap on its way to distribution. And by "crap" I mean "coincidental events that mean lots and lots of publicity." Last year there was the minor issue of the movie's subject, accused murderer and FBI Most Wanted List denizen Jesse James Hollywood (in the movie he's played by Emile Hirsch, and named Johnny Truelove) being tracked down and arrested in Brazil while the movie was filming. Man, I hate it when reality forces rewrites. Then, early this year, Hollywood actually tried to stop the film's release, fearing that its "very negative" portrayal of him might affect his upcoming kidnapping and murder trial. Plus, there was that whole issue of the distribution itself: New Line wanted to do a slow rollout, ala Crash, while Cassavetes believed his movie deserved to debut on at least 1000 screens. (Because, you know, it rocks, man. Plus, Justin Timberlake!) When New Line refused to give in, Cassavetes picked up his marbles and went
home to Universal, where he's be promised a wide release in early 2007. Not only that, but there's talk of a limited, Oscar-eligibility release in December, an idea that, given how mixed reviews of the film have been, seems fanciful in the extreme.