Trailers: Mutual Appreciation, Shortbus, Stranger Than Fiction

mutual appreciation andrew bujalskiMutual Appreciation - Rock and roll dreaming. Names like Linklater and Cassavetes will be pasted on director Andrew Bujalski’s forehead like so many post-it note comparisons until he truly breaks out. Like his previous entry Funny Ha Ha, you’ll find low budget, low energy, and high meandering. But the fact that his indie rock ne’er-do-wells make me want go back in time to slap old acquaintances in the face must mean that the realism hits pretty close to home.

Shortbus - Director John Cameron Mitchell’s followup to Hedwig and the Angry Itch evokes adjectives like “Fucktastic! Cocktacular! Breastalicious!” from Cinematical’s James Rocchi. Expect real sex on a Skittles color palette. Whispers from industry insiders say there’s a story in there as well.

Stranger Than Fiction - Will Farrell’s hearing voices, and this time it’s not my roommate clamoring for Anchorman 2. Here he discovers his every move being dictated by an unseen narrator. You must fight for your life, Mugatu.

Factotum - Based on the Charles Bukowski novel. Stars Matt Dillon, Lili Taylor, Marisa Tomei. As Bukowski’s alter-ego Henry Chinaski, Dillon wanders through employment, relations, taverns, and life while grinding out rejected writings.

The Fountain - In the tradition of Wong Kar Wai’s 2046, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Three Times, and whoever it was that made The Lake House, love transverses various times and dimensions. Hugh Jackman. Rachel Weisz. Perhaps you’re supposed to down a pill before you watch this.

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Posted by Ted Zee on July 28th 2006 | 0 Comments

Improvise with Fred Willard

Fred Willard, hard working comedian that he is, has over 150 film and television acting credits to his name since 1966, and doesn’t look to be slowing his roll anytime soon. He’s already racked up 11 gigs for 2006, including Fred Willard’s American Festivals, which aired earlier this year on the Travel Channel. The four part series followed him as he particpated in gatherings such as a renaissance fair, a pirate festival, and The World Championship Duck Calling Contest.

The Associated Press has a short piece with Fred, allowing him to share some improvisational tips, and talk about what it’s been like to work with Christopher Guest, who’s played a large part in making Willard the go-to guest appearance guy for films looking to add some laughs. According to Guest, “He’s obviously one of the funniest people, ever. He’s one of the great improvisers. And it’s not as if you can just pick anyone to do these movies, and so he became one of the main people because he’s one of the best at it.” Their next movie, For Your Consideration, which we’ve touched on earlier, features Fred as an Access Hollywood style TV host. Talking up the film on a recent Letterman appearance, Fred gives a little taste of what we can expect:

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Posted by Ted Zee on July 26th 2006 | 0 Comments

PBS Children's show host fired for online videos

technical virginPBS has announced the firing of its host for “The Good Night Show,” a program geared towards toddlers winding down for bedtime. The host, Melanie Martinez, created videos years ago, which have gained notoriety in the past few months after being posted on online video providers such as YouTube and IFILM. Martinez, the kids’ show host to be, made a few videos mocking public service announcements under the guise of a young “Technical Virgin”, sharing tips for other girls looking to save their virginity.

In one video, the girl’s mother buys her a vibrator to distract her from teenage boys, and the video ends with the tagline “Vibrators, the smart choice for your future.” Another video describes an “unconventional” method: “Sure it hurts a little, and I wind up walking funny for a day or two. But I think my future’s worth it.”

Anticipating a full outing of the videos beyond the scope of internet viewers, Melanie brought the issue to the attention of PBS, and was immediately released from the show. According to PBS president Sandy Wax, “The dialogue in this video is inappropriate for her role as a preschool program host and may undermine her character’s credibility with our audience.” PBS has decided to remove the show from the air while it searches for a new host.

Judge for yourself: (Mild language)

The Technical Virgin, Video 1 - YouTube
The Technical Virgin, Video 2 - YouTube

From PBS: A Notice to Parents Regarding The Good Night Show 

Story from: PBS kids’ show host fired for video - Yahoo

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Posted by Ted Zee on July 25th 2006 | 1 Comment

Steely Dan has a beef with Owen Wilson

big lebowskiRead a few lines from this open letter from the band Steely Dan, and then tell me that you can’t picture these guys:
“Hey man - it’s like, Don and Walt, we’re the guys from Steely Dan, the group, we won those grammies that time, maybe you recall?….something kind of uncool has come to our attention and we’ve got to, like, do something or say something before the scene gets out of our control and something even more uncool happens.” To clarify, let’s cover a few things you may not know about Steely Dan:

1. They (still) exist. And they’re currently on tour with Michael McDonald.
2. Apparently they’re big fans of Bottle Rocket: “We both thought it was way rocking!” Everything else on Luke and Owen Wilson’s resumes…not so much.
3. They have a major problem with Owen, claiming that the concept for You, Me and Dupree was stolen outright from their song “Cousin Dupree” without authorization, and from either due to lack of effort, or some undisclosed harsh vibes, they’ve opted to utilize brother Luke as a go-between for their most heinous accusations.

So how to bury the hatchet between the Wilsons and the Steely Dans? Don and Walt offer up this affable solution, “He’ll come down to Irvine, apologize onstage, then we’ll load him up with cool Steely merch…tell Owen to bring his bongos if he wants to sit in.” Jam sessions, Michael McDonald, plus a tour t-shirt? Let’s make this happen.

Open Letter to the Great Comic Actor, Luke Wilson - steelydan.com

UPDATE 8/15: The Steely Dans have now focused on Wes Anderson’s new project, The Darjeeling Limited, with laser-like precision, and have in kind, sent Wes an open letter as well. Not up to speed? We’ve got all the available Darjeeling details, and Alison over at The IFC Blog has you covered on the Steely Dan angle.

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Posted by Ted Zee on July 24th 2006 | 2 Comments

Tarantino and Rodriguez Talk Grindhouse

Update 10/11/06: View a preview of Grindhouse here:

tarantino rodriguez grindhouseBesides giving attendees of San Diego’s Comic-Con a glimpse of footage for Planet Terror, the first half of the collaborative “double feature” Grindhouse from Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino, the two also dropped a cast list, and some news about new Kill Bill projects in the pipeline. Comingsoon.net was there to see a few minutes of footage from Planet Terror, the Rodriguez helmed zombie film, shot with a grainy, vintage feel. The preview consisted of a few clips, including Six Feet Under’s Freddy Rodriguez and Rose McGowan (with a severed leg no less) doing battle with zombies, and McGowan making use of a (stump) leg mounted machine gun. The cast also includes Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas, for reasons unbeknownst to us.

As far as Tarantino’s slasher film Death Proof, the cast includes Kurt Russell and Rosario Dawson, and is set to start shooting in about a month from now in Austin, TX. Planet Terror and Death Proof, along with the trailers for fake exploitation films to serve as fare for intermission, were originally thought to be short enough to create a normal feature length. However Quentin now says “This is not a faux double feature. This is two f*cking movies for the price of one! Your $10 will be well spent at the Grindhouse, baby!” Grindhouse is scheduled for release on Easter weekend, 2007.

In other QT news, Quentin also mentioned that he has plans to create two animated Kill Bill prequels, one digging into the earlier days of “Bill” and the other on the young “Bride”.

More Grindhouse details here: The Full Cast for Grindhouse - Comingsoon.net, Rodriguez and Tarantino Present Grindhouse! - Comingsoon.net, COMIC-CON 2006: Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez Reveal Grindhouse Footage - Movieweb.com

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Posted by Ted Zee on July 24th 2006 | 0 Comments

Trailers: Kill Your Idols, Harsh Times, Little Miss Sunshine, The Motel

Kill Your Idols - Palm Pictures, who’ve brought us the Directors Series, supply a new music doc covering the NY underground from the 70’s to the present, featuring interviews and performances from Lydia Lunch to Sonic Youth, Swans to Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

The Motel - Also from Palm. Director Michael Kane’s blog pubertysucks.com pretty much sums it up for the coming of age flick. “Either you kiss my sister, or you fight me.”

Harsh Times - Featuring Christian “I have to return some videotapes” Bale and Freddy Rodriguez (Six Feet Under). Directed by David Ayer, writer of Traning Day. No similarities whatsoever.

The Prestige - Christopher Nolan’s latest with Hugh Jackman, Christian “Do you like Phil Collins?” Bale, S. Johannson (can’t resist magician movies.)

Little Miss Sunshine - Greg Kinnear, Steve Carrell, Toni Collette, Yellow Bus, mutes with bowl haircuts, Alan Arkin shooting heroin, beauty pageants for tots. Opens July 26th.

88 Minutes - Al Pacino high-tails it Jack Bauer style as his would-be hunter uses up precious cellphone minutes with countdown updates, as in “now you have 83 minutes left to live.” How uncouth.

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Posted by Ted Zee on July 20th 2006 | 1 Comment

Project Runway's Malan Breton, Cultural Aesthete

malan bretonCommenting on another’s blog remains a snotty diatribe akin to reading someone’s diary and whispering the details behind curled fingers at the prom. Except that blogs aren’t a book of secrets with a silver lock and key, and cyberspace is not an empty gymnasium filled with ambient music and papier mache. Yet, in both locales, people want to know dirt. Online, people are either addicted or lazy, so it is in this spirit of obsessive-compulsive passivity (have I coined a new term?) that I offer my
insights on the blog of Malan Breton, wunderkind designer of Project Runway 3.

If you’re not familiar with Mr. Breton’s pedigree, his blog will do nothing to illuminate this dilemma. Is he gay? Is he German? Is he putting us on? At least one of those quandaries should be to the affirmative. As Tim Gunn warned us in the “Road to the Runway” casting special, Breton auditioned thrice, entering initially as a ennui-OD’d performance artist (though, in New York, one can urinate in a can of Rockstar and make the cut; Laurie Anderson would be so chagrined), then offended Gunn and his posse of Vogue demigogues before turning them down (wait, they wanted him after that? Vogue really IS for straight women!). Still, Kors and crew know a thing or two about marketing: bitchy sells, but weird bitchy sells bigger.

Breton has big dreams: “I have suddenly thought of something I want to work with Baz Lurhmann (on): maybe he could direct one of my shorts or better yet he could direct and produce my show at Paris couture, what an amazing dream to work towards.” Yes, Baz Luhrmann wants to work with you, Malan Breton. First of all, google his name if you’re unsure of the spelling. If you want his attention, this is sort of obvious from an employment standpoint. Secondly, I’m fairly certain Baz and his production designer wife Catherine Martin have found their niche together over the past decade and aren’t starved for inspiration, but do go on: “I am sitting watching Moulin Rouge perhaps the most brilliant display of art, colour an orgasm for the senses, etc.” Yes, yes. Thank God you fell short at etcetera. “I remember after 9-11 having nothing not even a job, my grandmother (my best friend ) had died, and seeing this film and realising that if i put my mind to it i could accomplish what I set out to.” His nana was his best friend. Enough said: “They say we only use 5 percent of our brains potential, try to learn something new every day, I speak seven languages, I learned to dance , sing, act , to sew, design, play piano, tuba, flute, and violin, write, photography, I learned it all by being aware of what was around me, taking chances. Never be afraid to talk about what your doing with anyone and everyone, its called networking.”

Still, after achieving all he had, Malan Breton gave up his cater-waiter job and dove headlong into the vast cesspool that is reality fashion television, willing to wend his way like those pioneers George Hamilton, Liberace, and Halston did before him! And without a spellchecker, no less! Mein Gott! Sincerely, after all these digs, it’s really the textural orgasm of Malan Breton’s couture that impells me to laud his name. After all, the internet is not where we find knowledge or even information, so much as it is a fodder mill for third-hand rumor reported through the proper gauzy gaze. That’s how Baz would see it. After all, it’s so much to do nowadays with networking.

Related - Project Runway Recap: Season 3 Premiere

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Posted by regan on July 18th 2006 | 7 Comments

Owen Wilson drops hints on another Wes Anderson project

wes anderson and owen wilsonWith information already a scarcity on Wes Anderson’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox, the stop motion animation film based on Roald Dahl’s children’s book, there’s now a new untitled film to keep the speculation high. In a CNN interview, Owen Wilson divulged this little tidbit: “I am going to do a movie with my friend Wes [Anderson] in India, and that’s not going to be a buddy comedy movie. [I play] one of three brothers, and they go on this journey in India. I haven’t really spoken to Wes yet in regards to what I can really talk about.”

So chew on that folks. Wes just can’t spend enough time with longtime friend and former co-writer Owen, although with Wilson’s film success, Anderson has taken on Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale) as writing partner since The Life Aquatic, and both are now working on Mr. Fox as we speak. We’ll provide more on the untitled project as it trickles out.

from Wes Anderson’s next - joblo.com

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Posted by Ted Zee on July 18th 2006 | 1 Comment

Stephen Chow's latest: Kung Fu and Aliens

kung fu hustleTwitchfilm.net has the latest details on Stephen Chow’s new project, Yangtze River VII. Following martial arts/soccer hybrid Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle, along with a long list of titles unreleased in U.S. theaters, the new film promises to deliver more crazy kooky action, this time with a decidedly more sci-fi bent. Set on an alien planet, a stranded astronaut befriends a space child, while also dabbling in (the always controversial) man-robot love with a female translator bot. Come on now, get a room. More from Twitch here.

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Posted by Ted Zee on July 18th 2006 | 5 Comments

HBO's Lineup on Life Support

As current hit series have one foot out the door, HBO places bets on the next generation, leaning on new shows from the creators of Six Feet Under, Deadwood.

The Sopranos has been delayed on account of bad knees, Larry David might be feeling too cranky for Curb Your Enthusiasm, and the creator of Deadwood is going surfing. With Sex in the City and Six Feet Under already gone, the remaining cornerstones of HBO’s critically acclaimed lineup are all winding down. In speaking to a crowd of reporters at the Television Critics press tour in Pasadena last week, HBO chairman Chris Albrecht laid out the status of it’s current and future lineup.

The Sopranos - Production on the show has been delayed due to James Gandolfini’s recovery after knee surgery, repairing an injury he’s been dealing with since playing football at Rutgers. The final eight episodes of what will be The Sopranos last season will not be broadcast until March, a few months behind schedule.

Curb Your Enthusiasm - Larry David’s been feeling uninspired about continuing on with the series, and HBO has been tight lipped about it’s future since the season 5 finale last December. But Albrect said that the two sides are “pretty close” and Curb will probably be back for 2007. When asked whether this will be the final season, the short and sweet answer was “Odds are probably yes, but who knows?”

Deadwood - Creator David Milch is cutting the strings on the show after this season to continue development on his new project John From Cincinnati (more details below). Milch and HBO are said to have plans to shoot two 2-hour movies in lieu of a fourth season, but Deadwood fans, already infuriated by the abrupt halt to the series, are skeptical, and no cast members have been secured as of yet.

The Wire and Rome are also slated to come back, though plans for Wire are uncertain after it’s next season, and Rome will be wrapping up after it’s second season, in part due to it’s massive production costs.So what’s to become of HBO’s lineup after it’s proven commodities come to a close? Besides more recent shows which are slowly accumulating critical approval and a growing fan base, like the Hollywood comedy/male fantasy Entourage and polygamist dramedy/male fantasy Big Love, (as well as raunchy sitcom Luckie Louie) HBO will be putting it’s money on some creators who have come through for them in the past.

True Blood - For the past year, Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball has been hard at work on an adaptation of works by novelist Charlaine Harris. Set in Louisiana, True Blood is focused on modern day vampires and described by Ball as “contemporary rural America, white trashy, very funny and really scary.” As far as any similarities to his previous works, Ball says “Six Feet Under was about dead people . . . American Beauty, the guy died at the end,’” he admits. “But I find it incredibly different. It’s more popcorn TV than Six Feet Under. It’s very raucous, more entertaining, much, much funnier. I’m done peering into the abyss for a while.”

John From Cincinnati
- David Milch’s next project, post-Deadwood, is described as “surf noir” and was written by Milch with the collaboration of author Kem Nunn. In a June Variety.com article, Milch describes John from Cincinnati as “about surfing and the tragic, incoherent world at the border of Mexico and the United States….It’s where the water’s polluted, and nobody has documents. Drugs are being brought in by the ton, and people are found dead in the estuaries — and that’s just the beginning.” Surprisingly, Milch, who is notorious for pushing deadlines with scripts, has several irons in the fire (it’s unclear from the Variety piece whether these shows are in development for HBO, or another network). Besides John, he is also developing Six Guys Named Gonzalez, about Puerto Rican culture in New York, another about the founding of the John Hopkins Medical School in the late 1800’s, a series about horse racing, and finally a police drama with a former NYPD Blue collaborator.

sexLIFE - A drama about three couples with intimacy issues that share the same sex therapist. The show is expected to be heavy on the mature themes, with full frontal nudity and explicit sex. Producer Gavin Palone, who also brought Curb Your Enthusiasm to HBO, said of the adult content on sexLIFE, “it’s supposed to feel as real as possible” and will “push past whatever’s on the air now.”

Both True Blood and John will likely debut by late 2007, and sexLIFE will likely start along with the new season of Big Love next summer. It’s HBO’s hope that the next generation will eventually equal the ratings and high marks from critics as their old hitmakers. Although Tony Soprano and Al Swearengen will be long gone by the time the results are tallied.

Resources: HBO Live Blog - Tim Goodman. The Bastard Machine, TCA: HBO ‘Hopeful’ on New ‘Curb’ Episodes - Channel Island, Yes, There can be life after death - (Alan Ball/True Blood) Times Online, Surf’s up at cabler, with ‘Gonzalez,’ cops on deck - Variety.com, Palone takes the pilot seat - Variety.com

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Posted by Ted Zee on July 17th 2006 | 5 Comments

Week in Review: Little Miss Sunshine, Scoop, Peter Krause

little miss sunshineTaking a look back at some of the better film and television finds from the past week:

In film happenings, Cinematical talks to the directors and some of the cast at the press junket for Little Miss Sunshine, which  opens on July 26th. The New York Times has a review of Michael Haneke’s (Cache’) 1994 film, 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance, which is available now on DVD. Unsure about whether to see A Scanner Darkly? Maybe watching the first 24 minutes for free will help you decide one way or the other. Or what about an early review of Woody Allen’s Scoop?

Television wise, Peter Krause (Six Feet Under) will make his next television appearance on the Sci-Fi channel’s miniseries,The Lost Room later this year. TV guide questions Jeremy Piven on how Ari Gold’s world in Entourage compares to real life Hollywood shenanigans. For those who can’t get enough John Krasinski, and I know you’re out there, Give Me My Remote has some archived videos of him on the talk show circuit, and is also planning an interview of their own with Office mate Rainn Wilson. Finally, TV Squad has an in depth preview of ABC’s fall lineup here.

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Posted by Ted Zee on July 16th 2006 | 0 Comments

Project Runway Recap: Season 3 Premiere

project runwayThe third installment of the Bravo network’s successful Project Runway kicked off last night, with a casting pre-show in LA, Chicago, Miami, and New York where a handful of talented designers were selected, as well as a peppering of “whackadoos” (to use a Michael Kors turn of phrase) and losers for the audience to suffer through while production manufactures scene stealers and forgets character development on the editing room floor.

The “Road to the Runway” pre-show demonstrated how favorites from seasons one and two are still doing what they did before (season one’s Kara Saun dressing B-list all-stars, season two’s Nick Verreos teaching, and winner Chloe Dao still plugging away beading wife-beaters at her Houston boutique “Lot 8″). Season one winner Jay McCarroll and season two heartthrob Daniel Vosovic are both twiddling their thumbs while considering the age-old quandary of art vs. commerce. Speaking of McCarroll, shame on Bravo for letting ubermodel host Heidi Klum scold them in low Deutsch for airing only the first two episodes of “Project Jay” in which McCarroll went belly-to-chin with the diva over a last-minute awards show snafu. Klum apparently prefers to be seen as a bobble-headed cartoon of herself than an actual power player, which is too bad; it would make better TV. Santino has been trotted out to stiffly speak his self-mocking lines while rolling his eyes, but where the hell is Andrae? I miss that little tweaker.

Season three stand-outs thus far include the brilliantly cast Malan Breton who was born in Taiwan, or so he likes to say. I’m conjuring a limerick as we speak. Breton, who bears a striking resemblance to Spandau Ballet and may be the grandson of French surrealist Andre Breton, is actually a performance artist, but the surprise is he has talent and totally plays to the camera with his scary Udo Kier eyes and Daniel Franco creepiness. Heidi Klum told this week’s Newsweek that this season of PR will have a nasty villain, so here’s hoping Mr. Breton is it. Also note-worthy is Angela Keslar, Catherine Keener’s body double, who told judges she makes accessories “like some women make babies”, obviously alluding to Seal’s babymama. Jeffrey Sebelia harkens back to the 80s fashion icon Stephen Sprouse with his own line, Cosa Nostra, which is well known inside and outside fashion meccas like LA. The first challenge was to scavenge the Atlas apartments in which contestants are housed for materials for a high fashion gown. The winner last night, Keith Michael, is this season’s Emmett and not simply because Tim Gunn wants him. Possibly the most interesting gown that went unnoticed was Atlantan Michael Knight’s coffee filter dress, which was light and lovely and completely original.

The idea they’re selling for PR3 is that more contestants are actual designers instead of wannabes, but it’s a false premise; note the architect mother of five and the snowboarder. Those with most potential appear to be Alison, Bonnie, and Uli, but as Bravo likes to remind us, we must watch what happens next. The Blogging Project Runway site and the PR store are both worth checking out. The store features t-shirts designed by seasons one and two faves. You too can spend $25 plus shipping on what appears to be a screenprinting workshop gone mediocre, including Daniel V’s “Free Tim Gunn” top, both because “free” whomever went out with Mumia and Winona and because the likeness is unforgivably ugly. Free Andrae!

Related - Project Runway’s Malan Breton, Cultural Aesthete

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Posted by regan on July 13th 2006 | 0 Comments

The Office Webisodes are Available Now

the office webisodesOne of the things that sets the NBC version of The Office apart from the original is that the peripheral characters have some additional presence and sidestories. So it’s appropriate that the accountants get some run while Pam is (maybe) out getting hitched, and Jim and Michael Scott are living the sullen bachelor life for the summer. In the episodes, entitled “The Office: The Accountants”, Angela, Kevin, and Oscar are on a mission to find out exactly what happened to 3,000 dollars in missing funds. Over the 10 scheduled episodes, they’ll throw accusations across the office, grilling other co-stars along the way.
New episodes will be posted every Thursday over the summer. Check out the premiere of the first two episodes here.

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Posted by Ted Zee on July 13th 2006 | 7 Comments

Johnny Drama to Star in Mobile Entourage Episodes

johnny dramaEntourage fans, check your cellie. If has a Cingular logo, there may be a slow download in your future. Cingular announced that they will be releasing mobile episodes of Entourage starring personal chef/former Viking Quest star Johnny Drama, for the low price of $14.99 a month for media service, and another 5 bucks a month for HBO downloads.

“The premise of the made-for-mobile ‘Entourage’ story is: Johnny Drama makes a “cellivision” show. Customers can view a series of short vignettes based on this premise as they continue to enjoy the adventures of the friends from Queens on the Hollywood road to fame and fortune.”

The four minute episode storylines are said to exist outside of the main happenings on the show, and it’s not quite clear yet which characters will actually make appearances. Seriously though, who needs to watch more of that wet blanket Vinnie Chase? Give me Drama. After all those years of living of living in his brother’s shadow, both in real life and on the show, it’s Kevin Dillon’s time to shine. Give him his four minutes on the 1.5 inch screen for godssakes.

Question: Who’s got more juice right now, Kevin Dillon or Drugstore Cowboy brother Matt? And how do their current projects match up against Johnny Drama’s fake resume?

Yahoo story here and Cingular news release here

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Posted by Ted Zee on July 12th 2006 | 1 Comment

Six Feet Under's Michael C. Hall stars in "Dexter"

dexter

Yesterday, daily must-read Pop Candy threw a gaggle of new readers my way after I simply passed on some information I had first read at Televisionary. Now I’m compelled to direct you to the wealth of TV riches over there. For example, there’s the preview of Showtime’s Dexter, which isn’t slated for it’s premiere until October. Six Feet Under devotees take note, your man Michael C. Hall aka David Fisher, stars in this new series (Last we saw David, he was tipping over in his picnic chair, taking his last breath as his man cool Keith drifted through memory). Hall plays our antihero Dexter, a forensic scientist who spends a good deal of his waking hours with the dead, not unlike David Fisher was accustumed to. The twist here is that Dexter, traumatic childhood and all, uses his forensic skills to track the serial killers whose deeds he comes across, and extracts revenge by nudging them towards their own grizzly deaths. Maybe not your cup of tea? Well according to Jace’s impressions of the pilot episode, despite the violent tone, there’s plenty to be looking foward to, specifically Hall’s performance. Anyways, think back a few years. The idea of a series focused on a nuclear family running a funeral home probably didn’t sound so enticing either.

Pilot Inspektor: Showtime’s “Dexter” - Televisionary
Also check out Showtime’s Dexter page, which features a short teaser video.

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Posted by Ted Zee on July 11th 2006 | 4 Comments

Trailer for Ben Stiller's "Night at the Museum"

The new teaser/trailer for Ben Stiller’s upcoming movie Night at the Museum smacks of Ghostbusters meets Jurassic Park with a dash of Jumanji. In fact it features Jumanji alum Robin Williams as a Teddy Roosevelt wax figure that comes to life to give museum guard Stiller advisement on his situation. The situation being that the rest of the exhibits are alive and kicking as well. Yeah so, does that not sound so good to you either? Perhaps it’s destined for family movie night at the outdoor summer cinema. Museum has a pretty noteworthy cast though. Including Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney (still breathing!), Ricky Gervais (so hot right now!), and Owen Wilson. But forget Museum for a moment guys. What’s up with Zoolander 2? I haven’t heard anything since this snippet last year. Maybe I should ask my friend Billy Zane. He’s a cool dude…..yeah I probably lost you there.
Night at the Museum Teaser, plus more info via Comingsoon.net…..or there’s always the murky YouTube option.

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Posted by Ted Zee on July 11th 2006 | 0 Comments

Week in Review: Battle Royale, Scanner Darkly, Chappelle, Deadwood

ian mcshane

Here’s a wrapup of some of the best film and television finds from the past week: Cinematical has an update citing this New York Times story about the Battle Royale remake we told you of earlier. New Line is still working out plans on how to make the Americanized version palletable for the ratings board, saying that the original version would have garnered an NC-17 rating. Cinematical also features this interview with former DEVO member Mark Mothersbaugh whose film composing resume includes everything from Pee Wee’s Playhouse and Rugrats, to all of Wes Anderson’s films.

The Toronto Star has this inteview with director Richard Linklater on A Scanner Darkly, while movieweb has another with Linklater, Winona Ryder, and Keanu Reeves on bringing the Phillip K. Dick adaptation to life.

As far as TV analysis, there’s Slate’s piece about why the “Lost” Chappelle’s Show episodes are “genius” and critic Tim Goodman explains why my current favorite addiction, Deadwood was not Emmy eligible. We also learn that when he’s not appearing in YouTube mashups with Lucky Louie audiences, or making plans to voice Captain Hook in Shrek 3, resident Deadwood badass Ian McShane also sends out Christmas cards to adoring writers.

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Posted by Ted Zee on July 10th 2006 | 0 Comments

More Details, New Trailer for Science of Sleep

science of sleepAlong with the emergence of the “official” trailer (in Quicktime), as opposed to the murky clip we’ve posted earlier, The Independent (via IFC blog) digs a little dirt on director Michel Gondry, who seems to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder when it comes to former collaborators. One such man is Eternal Sunshine writer Charlie Kaufman. It’s apparent that Gondry desperately wants to walk from beneath his shadow. Nonethless, even Sleep actress Charlotte Gainsbourg makes comparisons to Sunshine. Ouch. Michel has a beef with Chappelle’s Block Party musical guests and industry types as well, saying “Every time you deal with music you deal with such an immense number of assholes, who don’t care if the project happens or not. They have no artistic interest.”

Science of Sleep should see a wide release in September. I would have loved to give you a heads up review from SIFF, but the 40 dollar price tag on an advance screening ticket was a bit much. If any Seattlelites have the scoop firsthand, pass it on.

Michel Gondry: No More the Dreamer - The Independent

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Posted by Ted Zee on July 06th 2006 | 1 Comment

Could The Office Hit the Box Office?

Well, we just finished telling you about Ricky Gervais making his film debut on Christopher Guest’s new movie. Might we next see him take The Office to the big screen? According to the Hollywood Reporter, the BBC is interested in turning a few series, including Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s Office and/or latest series Extras, as well as Little Britain into feature film projects. No word yet on if Gervais or Merchant would actually sign on for another Office project, or Extras for that matter. I would think that the latter would get the two more excited, escpecially considering the fact that when we last left Gervais aka David Brent, he was no longer collecting a paycheck from Wernham-Hogg. An Office prequel perhaps?

Tip off from Televisionary

And while I’m on the subject…deep within the vast YouTube archives is a brilliant TV special (cut into 5 sections) featuring Gervais and Larry David of Curb your Enthusiasm, just kicking it, talking comedy. If you haven’t seen it yet, you really ought to.

Edit 7/10: Removed the link to the Gervais/David interview, as YouTube took it down. Anyone have a link to it elsewhere?

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Posted by Ted Zee on July 05th 2006 | 0 Comments

Notable DVD Releases: Cache, Syriana

cache
Urban paranoia and secrets revealed in Cache

Cache - Michael Haneke’s (The Piano Teacher, Code Unknown) latest focuses on a family under survellience. Which is fitting, because his films tend to have a fly on the wall feel to them, as if the images transmitted are from a security camera console with no one in the room. There’s no judgement or interpretation of his subjects behavior. Just life as a statement of fact. Besides employing long takes as a way of giving the scenes room to breathe, and the viewier opportunity to fully digest and make their own interpretations, Haneke is not so concerned with tying all aspects of the story up in a pretty bow. So beware if you can’t stand to have some questions left up to audience to answer.

Anne and Georges Laurent (Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche), a well to do French couple, receive an anonymous videotape, a 2 hour long static shot taken from across the street of their home. Soon more videotapes, phone calls, and strange notes arrive which besides implying danger to his family, reveal parts of Georges life that he would rather stay buried. While attempting to track down his mystery man, his disclosed secrets begin to unravel his family life. French - Subtitles. 118 minutes. Features making of doc, and director interview. View the trailer

Syriana - After teaming up with Stephen Soderbergh on Traffic, and winning an Oscar for best screenplay adaptation, Stephen Gaghan takes to the directors chair for the first time in this piece about oil, terrorism, and men of excess and powerful means. Mirroring the visual style of Traffic, and incorporating multiple storylines running across the U.S. and the Middle East to dizzying effect. Matt Damon and George Clooney and among the film’s stars, but they are just spokes in the wheel, along with the rest of the ensemble cast, taking a backseat to a story whose multiple layers manage to engross you and confuse you at times as to who is doing what to whom, and why. Just as to outline the causes and repercussions of our foreign interests in black and white certainties would be to trivialize the complexities that we find ourselves in, here and abroad. As Roger Ebert wrote about Syriana, “The more you describe it, the more you miss the point. It is not a linear progression from problem to solution. It is all problem. The audience enjoys the process, not the progress. We’re like athletes who get so wrapped up in the game we forget about the score.” 128 minutes. Includes making of featurettes. View the trailer

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Posted by Ted Zee on July 04th 2006 | 0 Comments

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