Joe Carnahan has written a letter to his fans on his personal website -- -- regarding the upcoming direct-to-DVD prequel to this year's Smokin' Aces. Ryan alerted you to the prequel here. I thought Smokin' Aces was a pretty cool flick. I completely forgot it five minutes after I saw it, but I had a blast at the time, and I appreciated how different in tone it was from Narc -- Carnahan's previous film. Carnahan has a full plate right now -- with White Jazz, Killing Pablo, and Bunny Lake is Missing in various stages of pre-production -- and will not write or direct the new Aces film. But he does seem determined to make sure that it's a quality project. Says Carnahan: "The Nigerians and I came up with a fairly simple story that is, I think, about as politically topical as you can get, under the guise of a balls-out barnburner of an action flick." As for 'the Nigerians,' Carnahan promises you'll soon know who they are, and fear not, fans of the original -- Carnahan "can say, with some certainty, that the Tremor Brothers will be returning."

Carnahan also addresses the bad rap that a lot of straight-to-DVD titles get, but he insists this will be different. "I think the only reason to ever do something that goes straight-to-DVD (which has this malodorous vibe for some reason) is that it gives you the ability to really push it. And I don't mean pushing the obvious sex/violence tandem but pushing CONTENT and doing things from a straight storytelling angle that they (the studio) would never allow in a 'mainstream' theatrical release." He adds "That's what's exciting. Going out and sneaking up on an unsuspecting audience and doing something smart and timely and somewhat radical in tone." I think in most cases, the bad rap DVD-only flicks get is totally deserved, but it's always exciting to find an abandoned gem (Anyone have a favorite?). If this thing really turns out "smart," "timely," OR "radical," as Carnahan promises, it'd be head and shoulders above most of the DVD stuff out there.

categories Movies, Cinematical