Thompson on Hollywood

Paramount picked up George Gallo's internet porn origin story Middle Men after the hard-R film closed February's Santa Barbara Film Festival--but the filmmakers had to supply their own prints and ads (the new norm). The movie follows the meteoric ascendency of businessman Jack Harris (Luke Wilson) after he realizes that people will pay for online porn. The movie's winding narrative is populated by Russian mobsters, a porn star love interest, and James Caan as a conniving lawyer. Here's Variety:

"Boogie Nights" meets "Goodfellas" in "Middle Men," a relentlessly sleazy but undeniably intriguing tour of the bottom-feeding netherworld where porn and organized crime do their mutual bump-and-grind. Unabashedly genuflecting to Martin Scorsese as he pushes a whole lot of stuff in your face you'd perhaps rather not have within inhaling distance, "Midnight Run" writer George Gallo applies considerable narrative skill and reasonable cinematic flair to an insanely intricate tale of men who can't resist giving in to their basest instincts. A more heavyweight cast would have helped Paramount push over this immorality tale with audiences not necessarily disposed toward fare that will make them want to take a shower immediately after seeing it. Distrib will release the film this year, but a date has not yet been determined.

With a rapidly approaching August 6 release date on 1500 screens, Paramount has posted the new Middle Men trailer, below. Expect a quick run en route to video.